Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on July 12, 2021 at 10:10 AM by Emily Saveraid

Jasper County 4-H Youth Program

Jasper County has a strong 4-H heritage. "AIMS " (as taken from an early 4-H newspaper article, probably 1927.) "The 4-H program in Jasper County's purpose is to teach youth sportsmanship, loyalty, self expression and cooperation, as well as to train them in their various projects . ... It develops community spirit and teaches our young folks a better standard of production and home management."

The first county club agent in Jasper County was W. 0 Abraham. Ray Laflin was the county agent. "The first organized club work began in l 921" was the newspaper clipping headline. The program struggled until 1925 when a Baby Beef Club was formed for two members. In the same year four Bread Clubs were statted. In 1926 a Poland China Club was started with 26 members. Poultry and canning clubs were also started. There were 72 members in six canning clubs.

The history tells us that "the rnost notable event of 1927 was the formation of a 4-H Association composed of all club members in the county ... Under the leadership of the county agent, Ray D. Laflin and County Club Agent D.M. Hall, the County Club Association sprang into existence . ... The clubs of the county met once each month for the organization meeting, a program led by a club, and then a social time. This County Association was the first in the state, ... but other counties have organized similar associations."

By 1928 the records show that Jasper County youth were competing at the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. That same year the history shows that a best club was selected based on the members records. Record keeping continues today to be an important part of 4-H.

Through the years there have been many changes in Iowa State University Extension. Until 1951, Iowa State University Extension was closely associated with Farm Bureau in Iowa and many other states. The program was targeted at rural residents of the counties. Beginning in 1951 when the structure was changed, an Extension Council member was selected from each township to serve on the decision-making board and coordinating with Iowa State University on the hiring of staff, salaries and operating policy. The Extension Council members operate the county office with property taxes requested each year. The structure was again changed in 1993 when the first Extension Council members were elected for four year terms on the General Election ballot. Now nine members represent the residents of Jasper County. Iowa State University Extension programs to reach all residents of Jasper County.

In 1999 4-H continues to be an integral part of the Iowa State University Extension in Jasper County. The aim cited in the 1927 article has changed very little as boys and girls participate in hands-on learning in the same clubs. The mission of 4-H now is stated as "ISU Extension to Youth and 4-H creates supportive environments for culturally diverse youth and adults to reach their full potential.

To support this mission ISU Extension and the county staff will:

  • Design all program efforts using research-based knowledge from Iowa State University and the land grant university system.
  • Provide formal and non-formal community-focused experiential learning
  • Develop skills that benefit youth throughout life. We emphasize seven skills. They are: developing a positive self concept, communication skills, decision making skills, learning how to learn, ability to cope with change, citizenship skills, and leadership skills
  • Build internal and external partnerships for programming and funding
  • Actively involve youth as partners
  • Foster leadership and volunteerism in youth and adults
  • Help create community conditions that encourage healthy environments for families and youth 

Capable, competent, and caring citizens will result when we accomplish this mission,"

Projects continue to be the tools we use for learning life skills in the positive self concept, communication skills, decision making skills, learning how to learn, ability to cope with change, citizenship skills, and leadership skills. These skills will be important wherever life leads the Jasper County youth,

We salute the adults in Jasper County who give their time and skills to assist young people in learning the skills to make them capable, competent and caring citizens today and tomorrow. We also thank those who provide financial support so that youth, and their families, can have assistance to participate in those special learning experiences. The establishment of the Jasper County 4-H Geisler-Penquite Endowment Foundation makes these opportunities more reachable for families.

The Iowa State University Extension Office in Jasper County provides support to fourteen community clubs with over three hundred members in all. There are also five "special interest" clubs that 4-H'ers can belong to in effort to gain more topic specific knowledge, in addition to their community clubs. They include, Wildlife and Environment, Dog Project, Llama Project, Horse Project clubs, as well as a Jasper County Livestock Judging club.

The Jasper County 4-H program continues to be a constituent part of the Iowa State University Extension.


2004 Awards Ceremony

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