Iowa 4-H History By County - Iowa 4-H Foundation

Iowa 4-H History By County

Mitchell County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 10/12/2020 at 11:29 AM

Prior to 4-H being established, there were boys and girls groups supported by the school. In 1916 C.W. Bond, Superintendent of Schools, organized the first boys club in Mitchell County. A one-acre corn contest was organized with each contestant keeping accurate records of cost, harvesting, and yield.

In 1918, the Extension Service was organized in Mitchell County under Farm Bureau sponsorship, and 4-H began in Mitchell County. Frank Tracy, county agent, had to meet with youth individually since there were no clubs. The first 4-H project activity reported was garden with 38 participants.

Poultry culling clubs became popular around 1920 and Mitchell County had the first poultry culling club in the state – the Jenkins Cullers. Several years later, in 1955 and 1960, Mitchell County’s poultry judging teams were recognized for winning first place at the Iowa State Fair!

In 1923 club work started. Girls clubs and boys clubs were organized by township. Each year a different project area was emphasized. The girls focused on home economics projects such as clothing, food, or home improvements, and the boys focused on livestock and agricultural projects.

Canning was the project for seven organized girls clubs in 1925. Judging of the girls’ exhibits was held to select the best to go to the State Fair, and the winning demonstration was canning chicken. It wasn’t easy for the exhibitors to take a live chicken with them while they camped at the State Fair! During World War ll, canning was popular again, along with victory gardens and salvage programs, as they played an intricate role in relieving wartime stress.

There have been many beef projects in Mitchell County since beef club work started in 1923. 4-H exhibitors have gone on to show at Ak-Sar-Ben, the American Livestock Show in Kansas City, and the International Livestock Show in Chicago.

The first 4-H live animal auction was held in 1933. This later changed into a combination of beef, swine, sheep, and dairy with a ribbon auction in 1990. Mitchell County still carries on the tradition today. A portion of the ribbon auction proceeds helps fund 4-H and FFA activities throughout the year.

Livestock projects continued to evolve. In 1959 the 4-H girls who had livestock formed a group of their own called the County Chore Girls. That same year a rate-of-gain contest was added. The 4-H swine project increased in popularity, and in 1968 the first 4-H beef and swine carcass judging was held.

Projects other than the traditional home economics and agriculture became popular in the early 1960’s. This significant change involved the need for project leaders. Special project clubs included horse, dog, and photography. In the 1980’s, co-ed clubs were organized in addition to the separated girls and boys clubs in the county.

There have been many activities outside of projects and the county fair for 4-H members to engage in. One of the first 4-H camping experiences was in 1938 when 4-H boys went to Carter’s Woods. After the rainstorm came the boys mudded their way to town and slept on the county agent’s living room floor!

For about 20 years youth participated in district 4-H camp at Clear Lake. Pine Bluff 4-H Camp in Decorah was the destination for several years, and the last few years an area 4-H camp has been held at Cedar Springs Camp in Floyd.

In the late 1940’s sports were quite an important part of the 4-H program. Sometimes it was county tournaments and other times it was in connection with the Farm Bureau. 4-H teams also participated in a state sports festival. Sporting events included softball, basketball, wrestling, and volleyball.

In the mid-1900’s, 4-H girls and 4-H boys clubs held separate “county rallies” to elect county officers. In 1963 over 1100 people attended the first joint rally for both boys and girls. This event was held at the fairgrounds and included a barbeque and election of the first county 4-H Council.

Forty members gave 40 demonstrations at Sound Off Day in 1979 and this popular program continued in the 1980’s with the goal of at least one third to one half of the junior members from each club participating. The parents, members, and leader visited with the evaluator after the presentation.

Demonstrations were emphasized during local club meetings and the annual club achievement shows, advancing to the county fair. The top selected went on to the State Fair. In the 1980’s the program expanded to include musical numbers and entertainment called Share the Fun.

As the needs of our youth change, the structure of 4-H has adapted and changed as well. At the turn of the century, several specialized programs have been initiated. Some of these include a FIRST Lego League and Robotics Club, an Outdoor Adventure Club, and a Shooting Sports Club specializing in archery and trap shooting.

In 1997 a 4-H Clover Kids program was also added for children in kindergarten through third grade. Clover Kids offers opportunities to build valuable life skills and engage in a variety of hands-on educational activities in afterschool clubs. Many Clover Kids go on to participate in the club 4-H program after third grade. 

The Extension staff involved with the 4-H program for many years were the County Home Economist and the County Extension Director. Mitchell County has been fortunate to have very competent staff serving in these roles. One of these individuals was Neil Wubben. Neil worked in Mitchell County from 1985 to 2010 and was the last individual to serve as a County Extension agent before counties were reorganized into regions.  Neil was dedicated to taking the time to build working relationships and educate youth through his work in Extension and 4-H.

The 4-H program in Mitchell County has been, and will remain, an outstanding program because of the support of many volunteers and businesses. It will continue to provide opportunities for youth to develop skills they can use now and throughout their life. Its growth will reflect the needs and strengths of youth, their families, and communities.

Hardin County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 08/18/2020 at 9:25 AM

With the passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 and the setting up of the county agent system, 4-H club work began in Hardin County May 1, 1916. In that year a series of 13 township picnic meetings were held in cooperation with the county superintendent of school. The rural schools of each township were dismissed for the day on which the meeting was to be held in that particular township. At these meetings the Junior club work was explained to the boys and girls.

At first H.D.A. in Hardin county, as far as records show, was Grances Loffer in 1918. At that time, she worked with two counties. Hardin, with the county seat at Eldora, and Clark county at Osceola. Her project work included canning potatoes, wheat saving, sugar saving and wool conservation. These were timely topics relating to World War I.

In the period of years from 1916 to 1926 Junior Club work expanded through a system of special interest clubs organized on a county wide basis. There were pig clubs, baby beef clubs and corn clubs for boys.

Eighteen girls clubs were organized on the township and community basis in 1916. Canning clubs for girls spread in 1917 and 73 girls exhibited at the county fair. The general project system set up was two years of foods, one of canning, one of bread, two years of home furnishings, and two years of clothing. This type of project carried through until after 1935 when the three-year rotation plan was adopted. The plan called for one year of home furnishings, one year of clothing and one year of foods and nutrition.

Demonstration work by girls was developed as far back as 1927. Girls were sharing what they learned by demonstrating making bread to the public. And after these girls spent a year in a “Bread Making Club” you can guess they really knew how.

In 1917 there were 27 boys in Hardin county that were active in the baby beef club, pig club and corn club.

Transportation was difficult during those years. In 1921, Maurice Cook loaded his baby beef on to a railroad car at Lawn Hill, shipped it southeast to Gifford and then north to Eldora in order to show at the County Fair.

In 1926 boys clubs in Hardin County began to be organized on a community basis. By this time there were sheep clubs, horse clubs, dairy clubs, poultry clubs, and various other activities being carried on by the local groups. Boys and girls would often meet together to study culling principles and learn how to select the high producing birds from their flock of laying hens.

Next came the depression years and the big test for 4-H club work. By demonstrating efficient farming, quality of livestock, and homemaking methods the 4-H program proved itself through the training of young boys and girls to meet the problems of their time.

As the depression rolled away and agriculture once again began to thrive, the 4-H program began to expand its activities. It was during these years, 1936-1940, that livestock judging, and demonstration work grew into the program as we know it today. The first record of a boys demonstration team in Hardin County was in 1933. From that time on, there was a rapid growth of judging contests. Beef judging teams, horse judging teams, sheep judging teams, etc., were an important part of community and county wide activities.

During these hard times of the ‘30’s, the girls club work emphasized attaining and keeping good health. It was a great honor to be selected Health Champion at the annual county wide Rally Day each spring. These girls were selected by local doctors and dentists and then participated at the state contest in Ames during the State Convention which began in 1927.

Other similar county-wide activities were also being established such as the annual county Style Show, held at the county fair. Even in 1926 this was an important event as it was last year with girls modeling garments which they made themselves and were proud to display.

Next came the war. We have the familiar victory gardens, bond drives, scrap drives, and paper drives. Clubs organized special scrap drive campaigns and contests were held to see who could collect the most scrap iron. 4-H clubs played an important part in the war effort. Not only did they help to direct contributions through scrap drives, but their specialized training paid big dividends when agriculture was called upon to mobilize its manpower and expand to meet the crisis.

After the war, 4-H boys and girls began to express the pride and honor they felt for their organization by the adoption of distinguishing articles of identification. 4-H t-shirts, and jackets began to grow in popularity. The girls uniforms were changed. 4-H girls in Iowa, up until 1949, work the “Middy” type uniform that had been in use since the 1920’s, but in 1949 we saw a new attractive uniform introduced with much approval.

Membership in Hardin County 4-H exhibited a steady growth through the years. In 1916, there were 27 boys and girls belonging to 4-H clubs. In 1926, it grew to 178. In 1936 there were 231 members and in 1946 there were 235. By 1978, there were 600 boys and girls active in Hardin County 4-H. Today (2019), that number would change to 300 4-H and Clover Kids members.

Muscatine County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 09/18/2019 at 2:29 PM

4-H History in Muscatine County

NOTE:  The following is not a complete history.  The information that follows was gleaned from records found at the Muscatine County Extension Office.  Records in the early years were very well kept; however in later years details were taken from newspaper clippings at the time which didn’t always have dates on them.

On October 17, 1912, a group of Muscatine County farmers first met to discuss hiring a Crop Expert for Muscatine County.  This original committee decided to select two members from each township for the purpose of creating a permanent organization and from which to elect officers. 

Thus the Muscatine County Crop Improvement Association was created.  By November 23, officers were elected, an executive committee established, and a Crop Expert for Muscatine County was hired.  The members of this first committee were:

President:  F.D. Steen, West Liberty

Vice President:  B. F. McClain, Wilton

Treasurer:  W. J. Hendrix, Bloomington Twp.

Secretary: H. C. Lawrence, Muscatine

Executive Committee:  C. G. Hargrave, Atalissa; P. F. Carroll, Wilton; J. L. Giesler, Muscatine; C. B. Vail, Muscatine

On January 15, 1913, Mr. K. A. Kirtpatrick of St. Paul was hired as the first Crop Advisor in Muscatine County, and Muscatine County became one of the first in Iowa to receive the benefits of a County Crop Advisor and the extension work of the US Agricultural Department and of the Iowa Agricultural College.

In these early records, there is no mention of organized 4-H clubs, but using youth from the rural schools to test corn seed in contests was mentioned in a report from K. A. Kirtpatrick, county agent, on June 27, 1914.  A camp for farmers’ boys was planned for the last week of July of that year.  Awards and pennants for work done by youth at the rural schools were also given out at eighth grade graduations.  K. A. Kirtpatrick resigned from his position, effective September 15, 1914.

On January 4, 1915, the Crop Improvement Association hired J. W. Merrill of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to serve as the second County Agent in Muscatine County.  At an association meeting on February 27, 1915, a Miss Freyermuth read a very interesting paper on the subject of The New Movement of Efficiency in Home Management, which was followed by a Miss Stone, who addressed the meeting on the subject of canning tomatoes.  On March 20 of that same year, Miss Bentley, of the Extension Department of Ames, addressed an association meeting on the subject of home economics.  A rising vote of appreciation was extended to her at the conclusion of her talk. 

Bits and pieces gleaned from early records indicate that there was Boys’ and Girls’ club work evident in Muscatine County in the mid-1910’s, but no specific start up date was determined from the information researched for this project.  Minutes from the Crop Improvement Association mention the county agent visiting schools, a boys camp picnic, youth being involved in testing bushels of corn, recruiting boys to help with a project, plans for a farmers’ boys camp held in the county, a suggestion by the county agent to put up a prize trip to junior short course for the work done by the Pig Club one summer, and recruiting entries from the Baby Beef Club to ensure prizes from the Chicago packers.  Contests were held to stimulate interest and friendly competition among youth in different areas of the county, such as an Acre Corn Growing Contest and a seed corn saving campaign in the rural schools.  Also, in 1916, there is record of three boys being honored by a trip to the Junior Short Course in Ames for their excellent Baby Pork Club records.  Club tours were held four times a year where members visited the homes of fellow members.  It was reported that the boys went back to their own homes with lots of information to improve their animals.

Beginning in the mid-1910 and continuing for many years, several institutes were held around the county every year.  These institutes served as mini fairs, usually involving livestock judging one day and exhibits in farm crops and home economics the second.  A meeting with a speaker was usually conducted the last day of the institute. 

In 1918, several national events affected life in Muscatine County.  In May, Miss Mollie Feil arrived from Ames as Muscatine County’s first Home Demonstration Agent.  It was felt that a Home Demonstration Agent was needed due to the war conditions. 

The flu epidemic and quarantine of 1918 resulted in the cancellation of the boys’ banquet.  Also, in that year, several boys dropped out of the Pig Club because their brothers went off to war. 

A seed corn saving program was requested by the State Department and Governor Harding due to the severe shortage of seed corn the previous year.  In cooperation with the County Superintendent of Schools, a seed corn saving campaign was put into motion.  Nearly every rural school in the county was visited, giving talks on the selection of seed corn and the best methods of caring for and storing seed.  The children were then excused from school for a day if they would pick two bushels of seed corn.  The result was that the children in 58 schools picked 614 bushels of seed corn.  The children were very enthusiastic and the campaign did a great deal of good, not only for the value of the work the students did, but for the psychological effect on the parents in helping with the war effort.

Evidence of boys Pig, Baby Beef, Corn Growing and judging teams being established in Muscatine County begin showing up in annual reports in 1914-15.  A few girls also participated in these clubs. 


In 1920, two Muscatine County boys showed the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Baby Beef at the Iowa State Fair.  Another boy had the highest gain on his pig of all the pigs entered in the market pig show at the State Fair.  Two carload lots of beef took 2nd and 4th premiums.  The livestock judging team received the highest score and won a trip to Sioux City and a chance to represent Iowa at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago.

A Sheep Club was established in 1920 for youth 5-11 years old because sheep were easy for them to handle.  The first demonstration team at State Fair, two boys, James Shepard and Wayne Probst, got second on their topic of giving good points of a beef steer and how to feed it and a meat cutting demonstration.  The pig club was represented by four breeds at the State Fair.  One youth had the champion Hampshire gilt, and others place 4th and 6th in the Hampshire classes. In the Chester whites, we had 2nd and 4th places and in the Poland China class we had 11th and 12th.  None were able to place in the Duroc Jersey gilts.

A garden club was a new venture in 1920 with two boys participating.  They won first prize at the Iowa State Fair for their demonstration, even beating out the girl’s teams.  Efforts were begun to organize a Colt Club, but there weren’t enough colts to get the club started.

In 1920, Henry Wallace of Wallace’s Farmer, spoke at the annual Farm Banquet.

1920 enrollments included Baby Beef Club-16; Corn Club-7; Market Pig Cub-8.  Though these numbers are few, they did very well at the Iowa State Fair, having the reserve champion calf, the champion shorthorn calf, the champion Hampshire gilt, and for the third year in a row, a boy from our county had the State championship in baby beef feeding records.  Our demonstration team on truck crops won sweepstakes at the Mid West Horticultural Exposition, and at the International, Muscatine had the champion calf in the Junior Feeding contest.

Under the tutelage of Home Demonstration Agent, Ethel Guthrie, eleven girls from Goshen Township became members of the Clothing Club in 1920.  They made 4 dresses, 11 holders, 11 samples of different stitches, and hemmed 5 towels.  An Own Your Own Room Club was also organized in 1920 in Bloomington Township with 19 girls enrolled.

In 1921, a Poultry Club, Cottage Cheese Club, and Own Your Own Room Club were begun.  Records on the Cottage Cheese Club are most amusing.  The club goal of the 15 members was to have better health through the increased use of milk products.  Demonstrations at club meetings included “The Making of Cottage Cheese”, “Salads Made of Cottage Cheese”, “The Making of Cottage Cheese Sandwiches”, “Pasteurized & Sterilized Milk”, “A Cottage Cheese Dish”, and a “Camouflaged Cottage Dish”.  In his report, the County Agriculture Agent shared these thoughts, “More work along this line of milk as a food has been stressed as we were a little handicapped as half of the girls do not like cottage cheese.”  The club continued on the next year, choosing another topic to study.

In 1922, there were 10 Garment Clubs.  The Baby Beef Club decided to have a load of cattle from Oklahoma shipped to Muscatine to stimulate interest and “improve” the quality of cattle locally.  While membership numbers did increase, it was discovered in later years that the range cattle shipped in did not do as well as the cattle grown locally.

1923, there were 8 standard girls 4-H clubs with a total of 115 members.  Eight demonstration teams were trained.

Beginning in 1924, the Rotary Lodge at Staley Lake in Goshen Township was a popular meeting place for 4-H camps and other events.  Swimming, singing, performing skits and pageants were popular activities at camp.  Campers brought food and 75 cents to cover the costs.  In order to attend camp, girls has to qualify by knowing five music memory numbers, five trees, can at least five jars of food, appear on the program at a club meeting, and dress appropriately for camp.  The girls put on plays and invited members of Rotary to watch.  This was followed up by a game of baseball.  Generally, someone from the state Extension Department attended to present talks and workshops. The Rotary Lodge burned down in the 1960’s.


William Slater of the Baby Beef Club of Sweetland Twp. was named Champion Health Club Boy of Iowa at the State Fair.


Helen Springmeir of the Fulton Industrial Club won the honor of the State Home Furnishing Scholarship which gave her three months of non-collegiate work at Iowa State College.  Ina Paul of the Fulton Royal Workers won the Best Six Year Club Record of Iowa.


In 1931, Muscatine County 4-H’ers won first and second place at the Iowa State Fair in the club clothing ensemble contest.  Lucy Anderson of the Wapsie Best 4-H Club won first place with a winter outfit of a dress, shoes, hose, purse, gloves, jewelry and lingerie.  Alethea Paul from the Fulton Royal Workers received second place with a woolen frock of tan with orange trimmings, a hat, shoes, lingerie, and corresponding accessories.  Alethea Paul also had the top five-year expense account award at the State Fair, winning herself a trip to the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago.

At the Annual 4-H Boys and Girls Banquet on November 21, 1931, Mr. Frank Reed from Ames gave an interesting address showing the growth of 4-H clubs in Iowa, and he remarked that Muscatine County was one of the oldest counties in 4-H work.  He also reported that Muscatine had one of the largest enrollments in livestock clubs in Iowa.

1932 – Ruth LeFever, 16, of the Bloomington Best 4-H Club, was elected State Girls Historian at the Ames Convention.

Home Demonstration Agent Elizabeth Armstrong wrote in 1932 - “Because of the present strenuous times many girls are being deprived of opportunities they have been enjoying or might have enjoyed along educational and social lines.  This change makes the work of 4-H clubs in Muscatine County more necessary and more important.”

Carl Rylander, Muscatine County Ag Agent, commented, “Results coming in this fall indicate that the so called depression has not retarded the enrollment in 4-H projects.  There, the outlook for next year is very promising.”  Due to the depression, gate receipts at the fair were down and premiums were reduced as much a possible.  The fair remained in good condition and plans are to go forward with next year’s show.

There was grumbling at the 1932 County Fair as Johnson County 4-H’ers are allowed to enter our fair and they send only their best cattle, which succeeded in getting away with the cream of the premiums. 

1933 – There were 14 girls 4-H Clubs:

Bloomington Best                        Goshen Wapsie Plus                Seventy Six Sparkers

S. S. Cedar                                  Montpelier Pep Girls                 Wapsie Best

Fruitland Sunshine                       Moscow Sunshine                    Wapsie Ever Ready

Fulton Industrial Workers            New Era Favorites                    Wilton Busy Bees

Fulton Royal Workers                  Pike Lassies

Truck & trailer - 1933 - A load of 4-H furniture travels the 150 miles from Muscatine to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, all on dirt roads.  The name of the woman is unknown – possibly home demonstration agent?  She looks so excited!  Quite a journey in 1933!


1934, Muscatine County 4-H had the National Health Champion in Doris Louise Paul of Wilton. 

Music was a huge part of the 4-H program in its early years.  A music memory competition was held annually with 76 4-H girls competing in identifying the song and composer of both classical and semi-popular songs that were incorporated in the year’s club program.


Despite the 1940’s being dominated by World War II, 4-H club work in Muscatine County continued to grow and became more important as families supported the war effort.  A glimpse of the sacrifices 4-H families made during these years are indicated in available records as some methods were adopted by clubs to combat war restrictions by holding all day meetings every other month, having more family gatherings combining the girls and boys clubs, and a careful analysis of planned programming.  Four major phases of the club year were carried out:  first aid in the home, home care of the sick, farm business affairs a woman can handle, and clothing conservation.  Red Cross classes were also established. 

There was an emphasis on raising poultry, gardening, and food preservation methods.  Fewer boys were enrolled in the baby beef project due to their serving in the war.  4-H’ers conducted several bond auctions raising several thousands of dollars.  The sale and purchase of bonds and stamps were strongly encouraged across the state at the State Conference held in Ames. In 1945, efforts in bond sales by Muscatine 4-Hers raised $21,887.50.   Many girls put in long hours in the fields and doing chores in absence of brothers who are in the armed forces.  March meetings were devoted to “Food Fights for Freedom”.  Glora Rahls was awarded a $25 war bond by the Standard Oil Company for her “Outstanding Achievements in 4-H war food production.  War Service activities was added as a new project area offered to 4-H’ers. 

Despite the pressure of war activities, interest in 4-H club work remained high in the 1940’s.  Hayrack rides, basketball tournaments, fair parade floats, Rally Day, Better Groomed Girl contests, camps, achievement shows, officer trainings, and the county wide banquet continued to be held.  Boys and girls continued to attend district training schools and the state short course.  Annual enrollment campaigns were held to encourage youth to join 4-H.  It was also in the 1940’s that 4-H was opened up to youth in small towns.  4-H was no longer just for farm kids!  A tri-county camp for Muscatine, Scott, and Cedar counties was held at Camp Abe Lincoln in Scott County.  By 1949, 222 girls and 320 boys were enrolled in 4-H club work.  A huge interest in Farm Project clubs was a major reason for increased memberships.  The Muscatine County Fair held in West Liberty continued to be a highlight of the year.

County 4-H girls held their Rally Day in the spring where club nominees were elected to county office.  Clubs took turns each year making a clover chain which was carried into the auditorium by those club members and laid into the shape of a clover on the stage.  This ceremony was conducted as part of the ceremony in naming the Honorary 4-H Members.


Donna Eichelberger of the Lake Lassies 4-H Club, was elected State Girls’ 4-H President at the annual State Convention in Ames.  Evelyn Hoopes, rural Muscatine, was selected as Iowa’s Best Dressed Girl in the 4-H Style Revue at the Iowa State Fair.


Donna Eichelberger was elected state 4-H Girls President in 1950.

In 1951, modernization was coming to rural Iowa and 4-H boys were part of the process as the project area of emphasis was farm electrification.

Club tours where club members traveled to each member’s house and the member shared information about care and grooming of their livestock were popular.  Many club tours lasted most of the day with a picnic lunch was held at noon by most clubs.

Boys clubs did fertilizer test plots where fertilizer was applied at different rates and results shared at the end of the growing season.

On September 12, 1951, a fund drive for the State 4-H Camp was begun in Muscatine County.  By October 1, $3600 of the $5000 goal was achieved.  By 1952, $9236.25 was raised.

The Agricultural Committee of the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce sponsored a baby beef and dairy heifer show in conjunction with the county fair with proceeds to benefit the Muscatine Emergency and Rescue Unit.  This fair was planned as an educational experience and opportunity for club members to gain experience in fitting and showing animals previous to the county and state fairs.  Muscatine, Cedar, and Louisa County 4‑H’ers were invited,

The Muscatine County Fair was held in mid-August with Cedar and Johnson counties allowed to participate.

At the Iowa State Fair, photos were taken from around the fair, including a demonstration team from Muscatine, for an article about fairs for 17 Magazine, especially the Iowa State Fair.

Clinton County 4-H’ers and leaders came to Muscatine County to hold a training school for leaders and club members on how to begin and plan a demonstration.

Poultry was a very popular livestock project for Muscatine County 4-H’ers making them third in the state for number of members with the laying flock project.

The boys had a basketball tournament each year, an activity begun in the 1940’s.

The Tri-County Camp held at Camp Abe Lincoln includes girl 4-H’ers from Muscatine, Cedar, and Scott counties.  Crafts, recreation, and swimming along with lessons in manners and other worthwhile workshops were part of the three day camp.  Oh, and fun too!  As well as meeting new friends.

The annual county-wide party was held each year with the grade school aged 4-H’ers meeting at a church while the high school and older met at the Y for dancing, movies, and refreshments.

In 1954-55 David Pace was selected to attend the National 4-H Club Camp in Washington DC.  1955 boasted 530 4-H club members.  Boys’ county officers were elected in the fall at the Fall Theater Party.  The girls had their own elections in the spring. 

In October, the cherry Pie Bake-Off was a popular event for senior 4H girls.  Girls who received a blue ribbon on their cherry pie at the West Liberty Fair in August were eligible to compete.  The contest was held in the window of Batterson’s Department Store with 4-H’ers making and baking their pies for the public to view.  Top winners competed the next day with the first place winner receiving an all-expense paid trip to Chicago, provided by the National Red Cherry Institute, and the opportunity to compete as Miss Iowa in the national cherry pie baking contest in February.


In 1960, a special 4-H activity of rat and pocket gopher control was created.  The activity started in January with a home-farm rat survey where each 4-H’er took a survey of rat damage on his home farm.  During February, each 4-H member poisoned the rats on the home farm and staged a community survey of neighboring farms to find out the number of rats in the community.

March started the pocket gopher control and continued rat poisoning.  Pocket gopher control consisted of poisoning the gophers during the months of March and April.  At the end of each month the local clubs collected all of the material gathered by the club members and turned in a club summary of its report to the Extension office.   4-H club members and leaders sold rat bait during the activity.  The activity proved to be educational and interesting to local leaders and 4-H members.

A basketball league for 4-H’ers was held during the winter months with teams playing one night each week.  A tournament was held in early spring.  A softball league was held throughout the summer with a tournament at the end of the season at Weed Park.  Both tournaments were used to develop good sportsmanship among the youth, develop better communication among 4‑H members throughout the county, and to provide enjoyment.  It also gave some of the 4-H members a chance to participate in sports that would not have had a chance to make a team in school.

4-H Field Day

The purpose and objectives of a 4-H Field Day was to teach the 4-H members proper fitting, grooming and showing techniques of beef cattle, dairy, sheep and swine.  This was accomplished by giving actual demonstrations on the livestock in the field.  Livestock judging workouts were also held in conjunction with the Field Day.

Joint Boys and Girls 4-H Activities

Several joint boys and girls 4-H activities were created.

  • 4-H Theater Party - 750 club members, parents, and leaders attended as 4-H county officers were installed and country awards presented to outstanding 4-H members in boys and girls club work
  • Officer’s Training School - 120 club officers attended training held at the YMCA in Muscatine.  The school was completely planned and conducted by the county 4-H officers.  There was group training for various club officers, parliamentary procedure and a model meeting was included in the program. A session for local 4-H club reporters was taught by Chuck Hansohn, Farm Editor of the Muscatine Journal
    • Muscatine County Coed Camp – Coed Camp was held at the State 4-H camp in June.  For the first time Muscatine campers were also jointed with Scott county. 105 campers and counselors attending the three day camp.  Activities included swimming, sports, hikes, vesper service, campfires, evening parties, and crafts.
  • Leadership Club – A county-wide 4-H club dance was held the night before the opening of the West Liberty Fair at the fairgrounds. The dance was planned, conducted and sponsored by the Leadership Club. Approximately 250 4-H members attending.

In 1961, two delegates were sent to the State 4-H Health Camp, held at the State 4-H Camp in Madrid.  Members were selected on the basis of their work in health activities over the past year.  Health Camp serves as an award trip for members who have done extra work in health projects.  Members attending: Joe Van Nice and Carol Behrens.

Program objectives were reemphasized.  They were:

  • Provide more leadership opportunities for older 4-H’ers
  • Increase interest and participation in the boys demonstration program
  • Expand 4-H enrollment in rural and urban areas
  • Create better understanding of total 4-H program of the Extension Service, local 4-H leaders, 4-H parents and members
  • Provide a leader training program that will enable leaders to do a more effective job
  • Increase enrollment in non-livestock projects

4-H Winter Camp was held for the first time.  It was a weekend camp with older 4-H members with activities of tobogganing, hiking, and evening parties.  Attendees received special training on leading recreation during the spring and summer meetings.

National 4-H Club Week provided the opportunity to promote 4-H locally.  Short stories were written for radio presentations, windows decorated in the towns in the county, and local newspapers prepared a special edition of club work.

Better Groomed Girl Contest - Local clubs held better groomed girl contests to select representatives to participate in the county better grooming revue.  Shirley Schneider was selected as top senior girl.

A citizenship program was completed.  Objectives were:

  • Teach leadership club members to carry out a citizenship study program in their local clubs
  • To develop a broader concept of the meaning of citizenship
  • Create an awareness of their responsibility as a good citizen to themselves, their home, community, local club and world
  • To teach the importance of an individual in local, state and national government
  • Create a better understanding of how local, state and national government operates
  • Teach how a bill becomes a law
  • Evaluate local club study on “Citizenship and Myself”
  • Teach an understanding of local government in operation
  • Make them aware of the duties and responsibilities of elected county officials
  • Evaluate local club study on “Citizenship and Their Home”
  • Teach an understanding of aspects of community citizenship, race and religion
  • Evaluate local club study on citizenship
  • Put good citizenship into practice
  • Observe citizenship of another portion of the country

Our first 4-H Exchange Trip was held with a trip to Hardin County, Kentucky in 1963.  Delegates were selected from the Leadership Club membership.  The exchange allowed 4-H’ers to learn ways of life in another part of the country.

A Junior Feeder Pig Project was started.  12 boys weighed in 211 feeder pigs on May 4. 

Boys could have 15 to 20 pigs weighing 30 to 50 pounds, then marketed then as a group on a grade and yield basis.  The project was set up to teach members more on the commercial feedlot, feed conversion, carcass information, and different types of hogs

Participation in the Iowa State Fair included exhibits of 13 dairy, 11 beef heifers, 10 baby beeves, and one entomology project.  Livestock and crop teams judged in state contests.  Eldon Kile placed 3rd in the 4-H Tractor Operators Contest.

In 1965, 594 county 4-H’ers were enrolled in 1,775 agricultural and home economics projects and activities.  31 club members conducted other than agriculture and home economics projects.  37 older 4-H members and 5 adults went on a 10-day exchange trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  A Pennsylvania delegation was scheduled to visit Muscatine County the following year.  4-H program was expanded to include a dog care and obedience project, photography, and horse project program.  Ardyce Fett organized a county 4-H chorus which performed at the 1965 West Liberty Fair.

1967 found 41 Muscatine County 4-H’ers and four chaperones on a 12 day exchange trip to Prince Albert Saskatchewan.  A group from Prince Albert will visit the next summer.

620 county 4-H members participated in various activities and camps.  Program emphasis was on clothing and animal sciences.  Horse and dog project training was begun in 1968 with several project meetings held and dog obedience training held for 10 weeks.

Two single-day day camping programs were instituted for 4-H club members.  215 intermediate and junior 4-H’ers attended this Day Camping Session held at Wildcat Den

In the early 1960’s a cherry pie bake off contest was held in the window of the Batterson Building in Muscatine.  4-H girls from Louisa and Muscatine counties were chosen based on the quality of the cherry pie they entered in their local fairs.  Four girls at a time made their pies in the window for passersby to observe their pie baking skills.  Ovens and supplies were provided by donors.  Winners from each session were selected and competed one more time against each other with the overall winner receiving an expense paid trip to VEISHEA in Ames.  Second place was a $50 savings bond.

More exchanges with 4-H’ers from a county in other states became popular in the 1960’s.  Muscatine county 4-H’ers would travel to another state one year and the next year the visited county would come to Muscatine.  Exchanges were held with Hardin County, Kentucky (1963-64); Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1965-66),; Tioga County, Pennsylvania (1970-71); and Bennington County, Vermont (1974-75).

In addition to exchanges with other states, students from foreign countries visited through the IFYE program (International Farm Youth Exchange).  In 1965, a visitor from Nepal stayed a few weeks with a Muscatine 4-H family and shared his 4-H experiences with Muscatine 4-H’ers.  In1961, David Pace spent three weeks in Uruguay as an IFYE exchange student – International Farm Youth Exchange.  His experiences were published in the Muscatine Journal through a letter he wrote to the paper.

Many 4-H’ers attend winter camp at Madrid, State 4-H Conference in Ames, and Co-Ed Camp at the State 4-H Camp in Madrid where only Muscatine county senior 4-H’ers attended.  Many memories and friendships were developed at these camps.

120 members joined the 4-H chorus in 1964.  Several practices were held at the YWCA with the goal of performing at the Muscatine County Fair.  Singers must have been at least 13 years old and a 4-H member for two years.  Ardyce Fett, County Extension trainee, and Bob Lary led the group with Kay Barnhart, a 4-H member from Letts, accompanying.

A yearly leader recognition banquet was held where Awards of the Clover were handed out.  The banquet was hosted by county officers and the county youth committee.

In the 1960’s a leadership club called the MuscaTEEN Builders was formed to develop leadership through participation in club activities, to perform community service to the 4-H clubs and citizens of Muscatine County, and to provide recreational activities for members.  Members had to be at least 15 years old and the group capacity was capped at 50 members.

LANGWOOD – In 1969 Warren and Dorothy Langwith of Davenport donated 95 acres in Louisa county to the Iowa 4-H Foundation “to be used by the Davenport Extension Area 4-H for camping and educational programs of (the Iowa 4-H Foundation) for the benefit of its members in Clinton, Des Moines, Henry, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, and Scott Counties, Iowa.”  The Iowa 4‑H Foundation accepted the donation and the challenge to fulfill the Langwith’s vision.  Local 4‑H’ers named the property Langwood in honor of the Langwith’s.

During the 1970’s the vision of Langwood began to take shape as local 4-H clubs cleared trees and sold the wood.  The Langwood Reserve Board of Directors played an important role in determining the direction for the facility as well as fundraising.  Many dozens of volunteers helped clear trees and brush, build an A-frame cabin, restrooms, pond, high and low ropes courses, and a lodge.  John Wanfalt, Muscatine County 4-H Youth Leader, was also instrumental in developing the camp and it was used by hundreds of youth for day camps and overnight camping. 

Following John’s retirement from Extension in 1986, the State 4-H Foundation became less involved in Langwood and the Louisa County Conservation began managing the area in 1989.  Eventually LCC purchased the property and the name was changed to Langwood Education Center.  Langwood has touched the lives of many youth and continues to do so today.


Sports tournaments for both boys and girls were very popular in the 1970’s.  Basketball, softball, and volleyball tournaments were held for many years and gave youth an opportunity to participate in sports that usually don’t get the chance to play organized sports.

Project trainings were popular in the1970’s with workshops held for dog, horse, advanced cattle feeding, home improvement, junior leadership, home grounds improvement, rabbit, small arms safety, and corn crops.

Special interest groups were formed during the 1970’s for such activities as horseback riding, bicycling, archery, model airplanes, veterinary career exploration, riflery, electronics, theater, tennis, dog obedience, and campus visits.

Co-ed Camp, State Conference, county awards programs, Citizenship Short Course, and many other opportunities for 4-H’ers continued on into the 1970’s and provided many opportunities for fun, fellowship, and education for 4-H’ers.


In 1986, two families hosted youth through the International 4-H Youth Exchange.  The David Watkins family hosted Jon Tveiten Skuterud from Norway, and the Don Noll Family hosted Jorunn Nordstokke, also from Norway, for three weeks.  The students toured the area and learned about farming in mid-America, which is much different than in Norway.  Both visitors were amazed at how big and flat the United Stated was.

A youth soccer program was set up for Hispanic minority.  123 you attended the clinic held in February.  Also, Ripley’s Mobil Home Park was run down and was fixed up by 4-H members.  Muscatine Steamers and Bluebirds 4-H clubs received a grant of $1500.  The money is to be split between the two clubs and will help assist the Lutheran Homes in their cemetery restoration.

127 4-H’ers weighed in 395 market beef at the fair weigh-in held in December.

County fair continues to be a highlight of the year as 4-H’ers showcase what they have learned throughout the year by entering exhibits to be judged.  Several participated in the communication program by giving a presentation at the fair and my modeling clothing they made,


Junior camp, intermediate camp with 4-H’ers from other counties, State Conference for older 4‑H’ers, and Citizenship Washington Focus were all social and educational activities youth could participate in.  Basketball, softball, and volleyball tournaments were still popular events for youth and a great way to get to know 4-H’ers from other clubs.

The year kicked off for clubs as many held fall parties, hayrack rides, and other events for new members to get to know club members.  A county Awards Night was held each November recognizing 4-Hers for their project work, record keeping skills, and leadership abilities.

Fair is still a major event in a 4-H’ers life.  It gives youth the opportunity to showcase what they have learned throughout the year by bringing an exhibit to the fair, whether it be in the 4-H Exhibit Building or the livestock barns. 


Now, 100 years later in 2002, we find that 4-H has changed over the years, but the core values of hard work and stick-to-it-ness have not.  Much research on why 4-H has been so successful for a century has been conducted and researchers determined that the four basic needs of youth (belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity) have been met through 4-H by caring adults, safe environments, inclusive settings and opportunities for mastery, service to others, self-determination, planning for the future, and engaged learning through project areas.

Many Muscatine county 4-H’ers have been selected for County Office, State Council and state awards, including trips to 4-H Congress in Atlanta and 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.  It’s these 4-H’ers who grew the program through the years by giving younger 4-H’ers something to aspire to as they got older.

4-H continues to change with the times, staying relevant with today’s youth.  It’s motto still fits today, “Making the Best Better!”

Black Hawk County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 03/01/2018 at 3:31 PM

The Extension program started in Black Hawk County in 1912 in a livery stable in Cedar Falls.  Mr. A. A. Burger assumed his duties as Black Hawk County’s first county agent that same year.  At that time local farmers paid the expenses of the first county agent through an organization known as the Farm Improvement Association, located in Cedar Falls.  4-H club work had not yet claimed the interest and financial assistance of groups which were later to play a big role in its success.  In the first year, 4-H club work was financed by business concerns of Waterloo and Cedar Falls.  Then the county fair association became interested in the movement and furnished pigs to boys.  At the end of the club year each boy turned in two pigs for each sow he had received.

When A.A. Burger, encouraged the first 4-H club members to enroll in a corn and garden project, little did he realize that from that small group was to grow an organization which by 1934 would claim the active interest of 483 of the 1,194 boys and girls of club age in the county.  The organization would reach 1,500 of the 2,100 homes.

Black Hawk County enjoyed the distinction of having the first county home demonstration agent in Iowa.  Miss Tura Hawk assumed her duties in September of 1916.  Two sewing clubs with a total enrollment of 60 members comprised the girl’s club work in 1916.

In 1917, Professor F. E. Fuller of Iowa State Teachers College was instrumental in forming the first poultry club in Black Hawk County.  In that same year four mixed groups of boys and girls were reported.  Comparatively little was accomplished in club work during the years immediately following World War I.

The second phase in the progress of Black Hawk County 4-H club work consisted of welding the individual members into local or township groups with local adult leaders in charge.  During this period, rules and standards for the 4-H organization were formulated.  Experience gained in this formative period paved the way for later success.

Girls were organized on a local club basis from the beginning.  Boys organized into local club groups in 1927.  The record of a junior club committee of members is found in 1922.  Adult committees were named to actively assist local club leaders and county agents in carrying out a county club program.

In 1924, demonstration and judging contests were regular phases of the club program.  Girls of the county had started demonstration work as early as 1920, when a team of A.A. Burger and Clara Sutter from the Ferris Wheel Club of Cedar Falls Township represented Black Hawk County at the state fair, demonstrating the canning of tomatoes.

In 1924, Back Hawk County boys judging team captured the grand championship at the Iowa State Fair.  During the same year a demonstration team representing Black Hawk County won the contest at the Waterloo Dairy Cattle Congress, thereby earning the privilege of representing the state at the National Dairy show in Milwaukee.

Two years later another Black Hawk County livestock judging team won first place at the Iowa State Fair, at the Interstate Fair in Sioux City where teams from eight states completed and judged at the International Livestock Show in Chicago, where they won sixth place.  During that same year a Black Hawk County team also won the demonstration contest at the Waterloo Dairy Cattle Congress, there by winning the right to represent the state at the National Dairy Show.

Election of countywide 4-H officers for girls was started in 1924.  In the same year there is a record of a county boys’ club committee composed of A.H. Evans, Vocational Agriculture instructor in Hudson High School and Lloyd Loonan and A.J. Minish, two prominent Black Hawk County farmers and beef producers.

A major highlight in Black Hawk County 4-H was in 1936 when the Black Hawk County Dairy Judging Team won the National Contest and advanced on to the International Dairy Judging Contest in Bristol, England.  The team consisted of Vincent Kelley, Kenneth Kramer and Clinton Sage.  They traveled with Paul B. Barger, the Black Hawk County Extension Agent and Floyd Johnson, representing Iowa State University.  The group sailed on the U.S. Manhattan from New York City on June 17, 1936.  The International contest was held on July 1, 1936.  As was typical of the time all team members wore long white coats when participating in the judging contest.  Final contest results were announced in front of the Royal Pavilion by Sir Merrik Burrel of the Royal Agricultural Society of England.  The English team took first place with the Black Hawk team coming in second.  Some of the Black Hawk team didn’t notice that one of the jersey cows had been milked prior to the competition and was not a dry cow.  Vincent Kelley had the highest individual score in the contest.  Following the contest the group took a tour, visiting farms in England and Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.  They also toured farms in Denmark, Switzerland and France.  Their 6 week journey ended with a visit to Niagara Falls in New York.

By the 1930’s record books were being submitted to the state 4-H office.  Community clubs enrolled more than 27,000 rural youth, teaching them how to run a farm and manage a home. 

In the 1940’s the IFYE (International Farm Youth Exchange) program was started after World War II to build peace and understanding.  One of the first IFYE’s was Ray Dankenbrink of Poyner. 

In the 1950’s, Black Hawk County had the champion national livestock judging which represented the United States at the International Livestock Judging Contest in England.  Gene Clubine was selected to participate in the IFYE program.  By the late 50’s a state law passed creating County Extension Councils and the break took place from Farm Bureau although Farm Bureau has continued to be very supportive of the 4-H program.

In the 1960’s Larry Anton of LaPorte City was selected as an IFYE delegate to France.  The 4-H program began to change from not just farm and rural communities to an emphasis on both urban and rural.  Programs emphasized personal development, citizenship and leadership, not just livestock and homemaking projects.

In the 1970’s Frank Wyatt of Hudson was selected as an IFYE delegate.

In the late 1980’s the Discovery program was developed by the county 4-H youth coordinator, Mary TeWinkel.  Discovery took place during Dairy Cattle Congress in September.  Over 1500 elementary students from Waterloo and Cedar Falls came to the fair each year where they visited a number of educational booths that have rotating workshops about livestock and food as well as experiencing Cattle Congress.   A Farm Safety Camp was also started in 1989.

Support to expand the program was funded by the Iowa 4-H Foundation in the early 1990’s through a grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture.  Later the Clay County Fair and the Guthrie County Fair replicated the Discovery program.  In the 1990’s the county started to raise funds to support the 4-H program through a direct mail campaign as well as personal asks. In addition an omelet breakfast was started.    For over 25 years over 400 4-H’ers, leaders and families have been involved in this fund raiser.  At this same time the Black Hawk County 4-H and FFA Fair Foundation was created to support the county fair.  A new program for young people was carried out in Black Hawk County called, “Growing in the Garden”.

In 2000 Black Hawk County started the County Fair Queen and Fair King Contest.  Two of the young women went on to be Iowa State Fair Queens.  They were Katie Greiman and Lydia Beck.    It was in the 2000’s that community service was emphasized in local 4-H clubs.

In the 2010’s the Black Hawk County 4-H and FFA Fair was awarded the Iowa Fairs Blue Ribbon Fair Award.  In 2017 the Black Hawk County Fair Board received the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award.   The Discovery program at the fair as well as the Farm Safety Camp still continue.  Black Hawk County is one of only two counties in Iowa that doesn’t have their onw county fairgrounds.  The Black Hawk County 4-H & FFA Fair has always been held on the grounds of the National Dairy Cattle Congress grounds in Waterloo.  The other county is Polk County that uses the Iowa State Fair grounds. 

Little did anyone know that what began in 1912 with farm boys and girls learning new and better methods of raising corn, feeding calves and pigs, canning fruits and vegetables, and sewing would grow into our current 4-H program. 



Honorary 4-H Members were first recognized in 1930 and continue today. 

1930 – Katherine Hearst

1931- Mrs. John Plum

1932 Mrs. Elmer Blough

1933 – Mrs. Ira Knapp

1934 – Mrs. R. E. Middlekauff

1935 John W. Cloverdale

1936 – Mrs. Floyd George

1937 – Mrs. A. J. Hansen

1938 – Mrs. John M. Briden

1939 – Mrs. J. J. Kelly

1940 – Mrs. E. J. Hausman

1941 – J. H. Butts

1942 – Matha Nation

1943 – Bertha Mae Dimmitt-Kelly

1944 –Rev. J. S. Deedrick

1945 – Elizabeth Sage and Paul B. Barger

1946 – Blanche Jones-Wolfe

1947 – Glen W. Morris

1948 – Hugh E. Muncy and Mrs. Robert Mess and Mrs. A. F. Hoppe

1949 – Mrs. Orville Tannreuther

1950 – Mrs. L. J. Dunwlad

1951 – Mrs. Godfrey Guldager

1952 – Mrs. Lester E. Loveland


1954 - Mrs. Thorwald Nelson

1955 – Russell Sage

1956 – Ramona Esbeck and Mrs. Stuart Henry


1958 – Mrs. Paul Barger and Mrs. Harold Brown


1960 - Hazel M. Kuehn

1961 – Ron Pullin

1962 – Folmer C. Hansen


1964 – Mrs. Paul Degener


1966 - Dorothy Mark and Dorothy Brown

1967 -  Maurine Rullen

1968 – Mrs. Harry Brown

1969 – Irving H. Anton

1970 – Mrs. Clinton Sage

1971 – Ralph Leymaster

1972 – Elsie Watters

1973 – Walter w. Renner

1974 – Irene F. Morgan

1975 – Jay Trent

1976 – Vyla Blough

1977 – June Faust-Hanson

1978 – Leeward Albert

1979 – Arlene Flickinger

1980 – Lawn Griffith

1981 – Ruth Beck

1982 – AuRae Heidemann

1983 – Water Hesse

1984 – Bettie Ferguson

1985 – June Faust-Hanson

1986 – Cliff Strein

1987 – Lions Clubs

1988 – Floyd TeWinkel and Ethel TeWinkel

1989 – Albert Petersen

1990 – John Noteboom and Beb Noteboom

1991 – Linda Herod, Glenda Schaeffer, and Barb Meyers

1992 – Bob Messerly

1993 – Joanne Eggleston

1994 – Kay Messerly

1995 – Gene Pint

1996 – Dan Schmitz and Cliff Murray

1997 – John Ackerman

1998 – Wally Mochal and Noreen Mochal

1999 – Phyliss Boatman

2000 – Alice Green and Larry Green


2002 – Leon Mosely



2005 – Dr. Phil Edler and Pat Eldler

2006 – Jeanne Hansen

2007 – Maynard Murch and Dick Goering

2008 – Farm Credit Services of America and Larry Steffens

2009 -  Mona Rottinghuas

2010 – Jackie Wulf


2012 – Phil Hufford

2013 –Charlotte Nieben

2014 – Lyle Guldager

2015 – Betty Ehler

2016 – Bruce Clark

2017 Tom Sage and Larry Walters and Bob Livingston


4-H Alumni Awards include:

1956    Mrs. Delbert Gerholdt          Wesley Yuska

1957    Wendell Glasener                Mrs. Harry Brown

1958    Lila Messerly                        R. Gordon Strayer

1959    Clinton Sage                         Irene Kramer

1960    Irene Morgan                        Wayne Mark

1961    Blanche Jones-Wolfe          Godfrey Guldager

1962    Ronald Sieben                     Martha Nation

1963    Otis Budlong                        Mrs. Evan Sage

1964    Les Newton                         Mrs. Harold Koob

1965    Virginia Ebbing                    Bob Tannreuther

1966    Barb Johnson                        Maurice Telleen

1967    Mrs. Don Mangrich               Paul Barger

1968    Rachael Gould                     Bernard Ebbing

1969    Bev Bennett                         Dick Klingaman

1970    Dorothy Brown                      Ralph Leymaster

1971    Helen Sage                          T. J. Andersen

1972    Bill Davidson           

1973    Ron Burk                             Rose Ann Pierce

1974    Blanche Pulling                    Lester Lampe

1975    Joanne Kucera-Vlasak        Rex Boatman

1976    Dora Rizzo                           Carrol Hayes

1977    Jean Klingaman                   Judd Leland

1978    Jeanette Brasch                   Luverne Christian

1979    Rick Hofmaster

1980    Del Bowers

1981    Marshall Grosscup

1982    Harlan Blough

1983    Judy Anton                            Larry Anton

1984    Norma Hager

1985    Jim Sage

1986    Jerry Kramer                         Joanne Kramer

1987    Ron Pullin

1988    Marilyn Teig

1989    Eleanor Meyerhoff

1990    Mary Esther Pullin                Mary TeWinkel

1991    Larry Loenser

1992    Ruth Taylor                           Marvin Taylor

1993    Ann Sage                             Frank Wyatt

1994    Carolyn Clubine

1995    Donna Schletzbaum

1996    Nancy Schmitz

1997    Helen Ackerman


1999    P. Lee Miller                         Barbara Miller

2000    Loretta Anderson                 Marty Port                             Dale Port

2001     Chris Greiman                    SOO Greiman                        Al Ricks                      Donna Ricks

2002    Frank Wyatt

2003    Judy Walsten                        Eddie Entz

2004    Louis Beck                            Pat Beck

2005    Kevin Sittig

2006    Jay Hansen

2007    Mary Jean Murch                  Hope Goering

2008    Pat Lichty                              Randy Lichty

2009    Tom Volding                          Craig Strein

2010    Duane Wulf

2011    Bob Koeningsfeld                  Lynette Cline

2012    Kay Connelly                        Phil Hufferd

2013    Charlotte Nielsen

2014    Lyle Guldager

2015    Mary Seekins

2016    Bruce Clark

2017    Mike Geisler


The Mayor of Waterloo’s Volunteer Award has recognized numerous 4-H volunteers.

? yr. -  Carolyn Clubine

1986 – Marilyn Teig

1988 – Jim Sage

2001 – Dan and Nancy Schmitz

2002 – Helen Ackerman

2003 – Dale Port

2004 – Mary Esther Pullin

2005 – AuRae Heidemann

2006 – Al & Donna Ricks

2007 – Loretta Doepke

2008 – Pat Lichty

2009 – Mike Pipho

2010- Marty Port

2011 – Kevin Sittig


In 2002 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of 4-H the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was created by the Iowa 4-H Foundation.  Each year one person or a couple are nominated by each county.  Black Hawk County recipients have included:

2002 – Mary TeWinkel

2003 – Ron & Mary Esther Pullin

2004 – AuRae Heidemann

2005 - Eleanor Meyerhoof

2006 – Rose Ann Pierce

2007 – Rex and Phyllis Boatman

2008- Judy and Larry Anton

2010 – Arnola Jean Siggelkow

2011 – Dan and Nancy Schmitz

2012 – Soo Greiman

2013 – Dale and Marty Port

2014 – Louis and Pat Beck

2015 – Barbara and P. Lee Miller

2016 – Pat and Randy Lichty

2017 – Aland Jane Eilderts


Materials gathered by Eleanor Meyerhoff, 33 year 4-H program assistant

Edited by Florine Swanson, Retired Iowa 4-H Foundation Executive Director

Adams County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 02/06/2018 at 3:45 PM

Adams County is a very rural county in southwest Iowa and is recognized as the smallest population county of the state with less than 4,000 residents in 2015. 4-H remains strong at about 90 club members in 3 traditional Adams County 4-H clubs. The county also has a Clover Kids club for K-3rd graders and 3 independent 4-H members.Following the elimination of County Extension Education Director positions in the ISU Extension reorganization of 2009, Adams County extension continues. The county uses its own tax dollars to support a part-time County Extension Program Coordinator, a fulltime Office Assistant (OA), and a part-time County Youth Coordinator (CYC) to manage programs.

There have been many 4-H clubs through the years in Adams County. The current 4-H club names and their leaders are: Happy Go Lucky club, Tina Boswell, Sally Shires, and Amy Shipley as leaders; Jasper Specialists, April Maeder and Matt Maeder as leaders; Prescott 4-H Workers, Michelle Birt, Marnie Cline, and Tonya Inman are leaders; Clover Kids Club, Treena Douglas and Betsy Stormer, leaders.

Other groups and people who are highly involved in the Adams County 4-H program include the present Adams County Extension staff, Chris Nelson Program Coordinator, Misty Johnson, OA and Bonnie Chafa, CYC; the Adams County Extension Council, Don Gee, chairperson, Tyler Edwards, vice Chairperson, Cliff Mann, treasurer, Jean Smith, secretary and members Lindsey Kock, Tim Cooney, Lisa Worrall Konecne, and Kaleb Bissell; the Youth and 4-H committee, Jason Oathoudt, chairperson, Don Gee, vice chairperson, Tina Boswell, secretary, Sally Shires, treasurer, and members, Jade Wilbourne, Doug Birt, and Cody Birt; the Youth and 4-H Endowment Fund Board, Joyce James, chairperson, Chris Nelson, secretary/treasurer, and members, Jill Shuler, Karen Saltzman, Dave Mullen, Lauri Greenlee, Time Ennis, and Nancy Amdor; the Adams County 4-H Youth Council, Jade Wilbourne, president, Morgan Shuey, vice president, Jasmine Wilbourne, secretary, Kayley Myers, treasurer, Ryan Allison, Morgan Cline, Jade Petersen, Cody Birt, Payton Thomas, Emily Lauer, Bryson Rhamy, John Seyler, Amanda Seyler, Cheyenne Goodnight, members; and the Youth and 4-H/FFA Fair committee, Paul Anstey, chairman, Gary Goldsmith, vice chairman, Kathy Bozwell, secretary, Steve Sonntag, voc-ag teacher and treasurer, Chris Nelson, Extension Program Coordinator, Chuck Harderson, bookkeeper, and members, Arnold Maynes, Taylor Cobb, Patrick Hogan, Evan Maynes, Austin Brandt, Melodie Winkler, and Jonathon Reser.

Adams County volunteers receiving Iowa’s highest 4-H volunteer recognition in the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame include, Sonja Walter in 2002; Joyce Neill in 2004; Lawrence Peterson in 2005; Earl and Ruth Goldsmith in 2006; Rick and Jolene Bissell in 2007; Blake Cooper in 2008; Don Mach in 2009; Joan Haley in 2010; Joyce James in 2011; Jo Preston in 2012; Jim Curtis in 2013; Jim Stalcup in 2014; and Evelyn Lund in 2015.

That is a brief overview of the Adams County 4-H program in 2015. What follows is only a small synopsis of the history of 4-H in Adams County from its start in 1918 to its present state 97 years later.

1918 is recognized as the year the 4-H Club Program began in Adams County, although the Adams County Fair and Boys’ Club work were started prior to that time. You might say 4-H took off with a bang in Adams County. Vard Worstell was the first County Agent hired by the Iowa State University as Extension Director. According to his annual report in November 1918, he had organized three boys and girls clubs, with a total membership of 128. In 1919 four more clubs were organized with twenty-four more youth enrolled. Mr. Worstell wrote that he had trouble with the parents objecting to the youth learning new ideas. Mrs. Ellen Grace Gibson Brown said that her parents objected to her joining a club because of the expense. She later served as Farm Bureau Women’s Worker and 4-H leader when her daughters excelled in 4-H. Extension and Farm Bureau worked together in the early years of 4-H in the county. Vard Worstell, still serving the as County Agriculture Agent in 1921 reported not only Farm Bureau officers serving the County but also the following Junior Work Committee members; H.B. Hardin, Weaver Cooper, Miss Anna Lynam, Frank Beath, and Mrs. A. Windom. Mrs. George Beck was the boys’ poultry club leader and Mrs. H. B. Hardin was the girls’ club leader. The Farm Bureau report the same year included a purebred heifer club, a purebred gilt club, a sow and litter club, a baby beef club, a poultry club and a purebred lamb club.

4-H club work advanced rapidly in Adams County in the 1920’s and many outstanding awards were won by the members. Some of the awards included the 1922 Grand Champion Poultry Demonstration team at the Sioux City Interstate Fair. Team Members were Agnes Hendrickson, Laura Beath and Floyd Van Pelt. Adams County had the 1926 Iowa State Fair Champion Baby Beef Group. Marvin Hayes exhibited the Iowa State Fair Grand Champion Baby Beef in 1928 and Hugh Septer, Jr. exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Baby Beef at both the State Fair and at AKSARBEN in 1929. 

The following girls’ 4-H Clubs were going strong in the 30’s – Bluebirds in Lincoln township with Mrs. Alice Lee as leader; Washingtonians in Washington township, with Miss Anna McCuen as leader; Joy Bells in Carl township with Mrs. Blanche Fickel; Harmony Workers with Miss Alice Anderson; Rainbow Girls with Mrs. Margaret Grundman; Sunny Sisters with Mrs. Artie Morley; Clover Leaf Club with Mrs. Janette Turner; and Mor-Pep Club with Miss Elizabeth Thomas. Mor-Pep Club became Peppy Pals later and was continuous along with most of the others over many years.

The Girls Project areas were on a three year rotation with Food and Nutrition, Sewing, and Home Furnishings. The first girl’s uniforms were blue two-piece outfits with a full pleated skirt and middy top with a sailor collar and had to be carefully starched and ironed. The uniforms changed several times over the years.

The first State 4-H Convention was held in Ames in 1928. In 1929, the Blue Birds were represented by Lola (Schafer) Vogel and the leader. They travelled by train.

In 1929 Helen Vogel Mossman and Lola (Schafer) Vogel represented the club and the county at the Iowa State Fair with a demonstration of Baking Bread. Forty years later the same club won a blue ribbon with a similar demonstration. In 1942, the Blue Birds changed the name of the club to the Eager Beavers, to go along with the township boys club the Busy Beavers.

Former Adams County 4-Her, Mary Fuller, searched Adams County Extension Annual reports for tidbits of Adams County 4-H history. Here is what she found decade by decade from 1930 to 2000.

The 1930s -----In 1934, there were five organized 4-H clubs in Adams County. Each of the clubs were under a local leader, also the under the direction of county club committees. Projects that club members were involved in included: oven products, baby beef, dairy calf, purebred pigs, sheep, draft colt, and corn. Ten townships had members enrolled including Lincoln, Washington, Carl, Douglas, Quincy, Prescott, Nodaway, Jasper, Mercer, and Grant.

The 1940s-----In 1941, the Adams County Extension office was moved to the new Corning Post Office building, where it remained until June 1, 1993. Adams County 4- Hers joined numerous campaigns during World War II to collect scrap iron and aluminum to conserve use of scarce items essential to the American war effort. During the War, the county fair was cancelled and a two-day 4-H Club Show was held in its place. Milton H. Henderson was hired as a youth worker for Extension in Adams County in 1949. The 4-H program in Adams County grew under his distinguished record as a youth leader.

The 1950s-----When Extension was separated from Farm Bureau on July 1, 1955 the County Extension Service was first supervised by a county Extension Council in cooperation with Iowa State University. Livestock judging teams, tractor safety programs and babysitting clubs with both girls and boys were popular in the 1950s and 60s. Awards Night for the County was held in November each year and awards for the year were given out. An outstanding club was always chosen. In 1957, Marvin Johnston, Sam Buck, and Extension Director David May erected the first county welcoming road sign north of Corning on Highway 148. 

The 1960s-----In 1968, Adams County Extension celebrated fifty years of service. A history book called “Our Golden Years” was researched and printed for the occasion. Committee members were Mrs. Austin Brown, program chairperson; Mrs Frank Davis, guest committee chairperson; Mrs. Russell Olive, open house chairperson; Harold Mosman, general and ticket chairperson; Axel Nelson, banquet chairperson; James Hoffman, master of ceremonies, and Len Beath, historian. James Kearns was hired in 1969 as the County Extension Director, and remained in that position until 1975. Adams County delegates to the Boys State 4-H Short Course in Ames in the mid 1960’s were Gordon Goldsmith, Edward Swartz, Mike Jones, Eddie Peterson, Duane Foster, and Jim Amdor.

The 1970s-----The County 4-H Council consisting of a youth representative from every club worked to plan County events. In 1970, there were nineteen club representatives with officers elected from the group: Tom Schweers was elected Chairman; Anne Thomas, Vice Chairman; John Narigon, Secretary and Mike Olive, Historian. In 1975 the first Adams County 4-H King and Queen were selected from all the 4-H members in the county. In previous years, only a queen had been crowned. The King and Queen were selected by a judging committee and ruled over the county fair. Deb Hall was hired as the Extension Director in 1978 and served until 1985.

The 1980s-----In 1982, Tracey Gridley, Kendall Roberts, Brenda Smith, Diane Cerven, and Diane Maeder attended the Citizenship Washington Focus trip to Washington D.C. with forty one other 4-Hers from the Midcrest Extension Area. Chris Nelson was hired as the County Extension Director on April 1, 1986. Also in 1986 the Share-A-Calf program was started. This program was a cooperative effort between the Adams County Youth and 4-H Committee and the Adams County Cattlemen. At the 4-H Beef Weigh-in in December, 4-Hers received a calf to feed and show at the county fair in July. The 4-Her was responsible for paying for the feed and supplies for the calf and the profits were divided 50/50 between the 4-H and the producer. The animals were slaughtered and the carcass data was made available on all the animals. The program enjoyed great success and had as many as twenty 4-Hers a year participating. In 1987 the Adams County Project Fair was started and became an annual event for the county. This event allows 4-Hers to explore new project area or expand their skills in one of their current project areas.

The 1990s----- In 1995 Adams County 4-Her Aaron Amdor was selected as the Champion Swine Showman at the AKSARBEN Livestock Exposition in Omaha, Nebraska.

The 2000s-----In 2002, a 4-H Centennial Committee was organized to plan a 4-H Alumni Celebration at the 2002 county fair. This Alumni celebration included recognition of the oldest living former 4-Hers, families with four generations of 4-H involvement, families with the greatest number of cumulative years in 4-H, and all past 4-H leaders, superintendents, and committee members. Centennial Committee members were Joyce James, Joyce Neill, Terry Etheredge, Dale Jackson, Colleen Bickford, Barb Fuller, Jo Bissell, and Chris Nelson. Four generation 4-H families at the time included the Florence James family with members and former members in attendance from Corning, Prescott, Nodaway, and Lenox. In 2003, Adams County 4-Hers Mary Fuller and Jennifer Amdor were featured on KMA Radio with a program called “4-H America.” Each week they talked about 4-H in Adams County and their 4-H projects. Adams County was the first county to be selected for this special KMA feature. Dean Adkins was the KMA coordinator and highly praised Mary and Jennifer for their efforts.

In June 2004, Mary Fuller and Alyssa Shipley traveled to Washington D.C. on the Citizenship Washington Focus trip. While there, they attended the funeral procession of former President Ronald Reagan who passed away while they were in the city.

In 2008, the Adams County Fair celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first Fair in Adams County. Special Fair events included welcoming back all former Adams County Fair Queens, a special postage stamp for the day, and a free Collin Raye concert which drew a crowd of over 3000 people.

In 2009, Iowa State University Extension eliminated the County Extension Education Directors (CEED) position in every county in Iowa, including Adams. That reorganization changed the face and the abilities of every extension office in the state. It eliminated a full time Iowa State University extension employee in every county and in effect broke the ISU direct ties with any staff in the county. From that point on, Adams County Extension staff were 100 percent hired and employed by the local Adams County Extension Council. The Adams County Extension office has continued to flourish, especially with its 4-H program, but where this and many other rural counties will be with Iowa State University Extension in the future is certainly unknown at this time. 4-H offers many opportunities for young people to develop life skills. The opportunities and activities occur in local 4-H clubs, in county-planned activities, and in area, state, national, and international activities. One Adams County event that stuck in many older former 4-Her memories was an Adams County 4-H trip to Des Moines and Ames in a stock truck. Beth and Eugene Chappell describe the trip one way and Charles Lundquist contributed his version of this unusual and monumental trip another. First, Eugene and Beth’s description:

“Organized by the County Extension Director William (Bill) Sparboe was a one day trip to Iowa State College for boys and girls in 4-H. We traveled together sitting on bales of hay placed in a well- cleaned out stock truck. I was very impressed by the campus. You can imagine how tired the chaparones were as well as a bunch of teenagers by the time we got home that evening. “

If it is not written down fairly immediately, historical facts can get remembered differently. Here is Charles Lundquist’s version of what we are assuming is the same trip to Des Moines and Ames. Surely it would have only happened once! Charles Lundquist, was an Adams County 4-Her from 1945 through 1949 and believes this trip to have taken place in August of 1945.

“The war with Japan had just ended. R.M. (Rollie) Slotten had come to Corning as the new county extension director. During the war, the 4-H program in the county had dwindled. He made nearly door-to-door coverage of the county recruiting potential 4-H members. Not only was membership offered, but a new adventure was in the planning.

It was something that had never been done before, nor has it been done since, George McLean, a local truck operator had purchased a new snub-nosed GMC tractor (new trucks were just not very available in 1945 and an Omaha Standard livestock trailer. The trailer was the longest the law allowed, single axle, 36 feet maybe. The 4-H-er’s were going to take a day trip to the Iowa State Campus in that new trailer! Seating was a row of straw bales along each side and a row in the middle. On the designated day about 60 kids were picked up at collection points across the county to go on the trip to Ames. An operation that was scheduled to begin after 6:00 a.m., it was after 8:00 by the time it really got rolling. The first stop was at the Capitol parking lot in Des Moines. People around had never seen such an invasion!

We completely toured the Capitol in 30 minutes. The police around were concerned about the safety of the operation. They urged the driver to be very careful as we loaded up to continue on to Ames. We saw various sights on the campus. The Campanile and the chimes were one of the things that impressed me. Arrangements were made for lunch on Campus. In mid-afternoon we boarded the trailer for the return trip.

On the return trip we stopped at Riverview Park in Des Moines. All the rides were well patronized. The highlight, of course, was the roller coaster. It had been one of those sunny days in August, not windy or oppressively hot-----A perfect day for the adventure at hand. We had run behind schedule from the start. After sunset a livestock trailer gets pretty cool. About 10:00 p.m. we were back home. That was my introduction to 4-H in Adams County.

Former Adams County 4-Her and 4-H leader, Illah Brown, sums up the Adams County 4-H program with the following statement, “Across Adams County, dedicated young people are making a difference through 4-H and community service projects.” “The Farm Crisis of the 1980’s hit our littlest county hard but we still have our Extension Director, Chris Nelson, our Youth Committee, our 4-H Youth Council, our clubs, our great leaders and our enthusiasm for the future of 4-H. The 21st Century finds lots of blessings and lots of problems to be solved. May the 4-H program keep on rolling.”


Compiled by: Illah Brown, Mary Fuller, Eugene and Beth Chappell, Charles Lundquist, Rita Miller and Chris Nelson

Cedar County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 12/22/2017 at 8:55 AM

History of Cedar County 4-H

4-H officially started in Cedar County in the year 1918 with 2 boys and girls clubs organized and 25 youth involved.  Of the 25 youth, there were 14 boys interested in the baby beef contest with only four boys completing the year.  Part of this project was to keep records on feed cost and cost per # of gain. 

Early records of 4-H focused mostly on boys groups/clubs and very little on girls clubs.  Over the years specialty groups/clubs started and several youth were involved.  Sometimes these specialty clubs only lasted for a couple of years and then dropped because of lack of interest and completion of the projects.

Examples of specialty groups:  In the 1920’s a calf club started with 43 members involved and they purchased calves for $158 each.  Twenty –nine members exhibited at the county fair and their animals sold for $234 each.  In 1921, the purebred heifer club purchased 27 calves.  Youth drew numbers for the calves and a note to the bank paid for them at 7% interest.  The top two winners received a trip to the International Livestock show thru the courtesy of the Rock Island and Northwestern Railroads.  A poultry club formed with 47 members and 14 showing at the county fair. Members of the Poultry club could not be members of any other livestock club. Purebred gilt club with dropped in favor of a sow and litter club.  (This club later dropped because of lack of interest).  They then formed a market pig club.  Low interest caused the discontinuation of the purebred heifer club. A purebred cattle club lasted four years but dropped because of the lack of backing given to the boys at the sales.  The county agents time would focus on the baby beef club.  At one time, there were two organized garden clubs, with the Clarence club and their gardens representing at least $300 worth of products and the Tipton club and their gardens representing $400.  Dairy Calf Club organized with an enrollment of 22 calves by 16 members.

In 1920, the Cedar County Farm Bureau in cooperation with the Cedar County Fair Association succeeded in getting a modern hollow tile show and sale pavilion erected on the fairgrounds.  Cost of the building was $13,000 and financed by the fair association.  The intent of this constructing this modern building was that it would last as long as the fair. 

Girls’ clothing clubs started in 1922 with six clubs forming with an average of 20 members each.  The girl’s averaged three completed garments and all made under the approved ruling.  Each girl served as a leader of the club (under the adult leader supervision) and gave one demonstration a year.  Approved shoes were leading factors with every exhibit the girls put on.

In 1923, there were 10 boys and girls clubs with 22 boys and 150 girls involved.  Seven of these were recognized community clubs.  (A community club is a club in which the classified clubs – such as corn-pig-canning-poultry, etc. federated into one large community club.)  A decision was made that Community clubs would be organized and regular meetings held monthly to go over problems and hold demonstrations. 

In 1928 was the first reference to club booths for the fair.  The object of this was to make it possible for clubs to have a display typifying some particular line of educational work being carried on.  Each club was to provide an attendant to explain the exhibit during hours the building was open.  All 4-H entries for the fair were made through Secretary of the Cedar County Fair in early August with the fair taking place the end of August.

During the 1930’s community clubs were named in regard to Memory contest:  Sunshine Circle Cheerio Club, Hoover 4-H Club.  November was set aside as club enrollment month.  A bread club formed and baked 2,264 loaves of bread and other product valued at $335.71.

During the 1940’s, there were 11 home economics clubs.  To recruit members, enrollment cards were mailed directly to potential member’s homes.  At the fair showmanship prizes were awarded for outstanding livestock showmen. During 1943 special emphasis were on market pig, dairy, poultry and garden clubs.  According to observations of a few farmers, Cedar county calves in the baby beef show were superior to surrounding counties. One hundred percent of girls clubs members help raise money for war efforts by purchasing stamps and war bonds.  During 1944, clubs produced $21,000 worth of meat and garden crops for the war effort.  A local 4-H club put on a demo for grub control for 250 local farmers.  In 1945, 40 members attended machinery repair school and demonstrations.  Home furnishing clubs focus was on food preservation, gardening, music, health, social courtesy and citizenship discussion.  Youth contributed $12,012 to war campaigns through stamp and bond purchase, as well as contributions to USO, Red Cross and Schick hospital.  In 1946, Cedar County Bankers Association put in place a record book contest with cash prizes awarded for both boys and girls club winners.  For the centennial celebration, 4-H clubs presented living pictures (Squatters Scene, Iowa Industries). Se Dar Mac club wore uniforms and attended initiation of WWII veterans into American Legion and the Lowden Lassies made gifts for United Service Women’s Bazaar.  4-H club girls sent thirteen packages to European families with 4-H club girls.  “The Green Promise” was presented at the Clarence Theatre to help with the membership campaign. 

During the 1950’s, there were 13 Home Economic Clubs with 198 members.  The Cedar County Food Stand was put in place at the Cedar County Fair as a fundraising activity for the clubs.  Boy’s concession stand was adopted for the fair bringing in a net profit of $440.  A total of $9,004.45 for the State 4-H camp fund was raised, which doubled the original quota of $4,500.  Demonstration day was held in conjunction with the county fair for the first time with four teams.  Clubs made money through food stands, painting mailboxes, holding public dances, bake sales and requiring members to pay dues.  Each club raised money to fix the livestock buildings at the fairgrounds.  For the 1954 fair, it was suggested that armbands be used to correspond with tattoo numbers.  The first father-son banquet was held with 285 in attendance.  Participation in the annual basketball tournament was tied to record books being completed and turned in to club leaders.  Construction of a new swine barn took place with 70 pens available for livestock.  Boys and girls club officers painted and erected 4-H signs along the highways leading into the county.  The 4-H food stand during the fair raised $1,084 with half going to towards the 4H building fund and the remaining going to each of the boy’s and girl’s clubs county funds. In 1958 the first ever-family awards banquet was held, and was very successful.  Style Revue was held at the county fair for the first time and proved a successful event.  More young women were being included in livestock shows, and being elected to boards and associations. Clubs had a pop stand at the Farm Progress show at Clarence to help raise money for 4-H.  In the early 50’s the discipline of leaders was brought to attention:  leaders are afraid to control members for fear of losing members, this will be worked on in leader training.

During the 1960’s the awards banquet was discontinued due to continued declining attendance. Meetings were held to better educate the mothers of 4-H members on what 4-H was about.  A new camping program was put into place.  The Boys and Girls County Committee was put in charge of supervising the entire program year and it was proposed to combine boys and girls committees and form one committee.  Special emphasis for boys was on social courtesy and clothing selection and care.  There was also focus on manners at home, in public, on a date, at school, at the table and when traveling.  In 1963, Cedar County hosted a youth exchange from Belgium and 37 Canadian 4-H members and two leaders spent a week.  The first joint rally night was held in 1965 and this was the first time boys wore 4-H uniforms.  4-H helped celebrate Tipton’s centennial with 4-H info in store windows and they hosted Missouri exchange students over the centennial celebration.  Seventy members took part in a one-day camp at Coralville Reservoir, focusing on conservation and wildlife.  In 1966, International Farm Youth Exchange student from Argentina stayed for 1 week.  The first summer aid to help with fair activities was hired in 1968.  The leader organizational handbook was implemented. 

During the 1970’s babysitting clinics were offered and taught responsibility, safety, first aid, and play activities.  Awareness teams were formed to inform fourth and fifth graders about 4-H.  A five-part nuclear energy course was offered with tours of Duane Arnold Nuclear Reactor site given.  The county presentations were re-organized into one total program for boys and girls with three divisions.  In 1975 a new exhibit building was constructed and a suggestion to plant a tree as a bicentennial promotion.  National 4-H Week was put into place to promote 4-H.  Basketball tournament participation requires players must give a club presentation.  Working exhibits were added to the fair.  Cedar County took part in the exchange with Cumberland County, PA.

In the mid 1980’s 4-H club names were reviewed for political correctness.  Clubs with “sexist” names were urged to change their names.  Examples are Pork Center Don Juan’s became Pork Center Pioneers and Clarence Junior Homemakers became Clarence Junior H’s.  Clubs making changes to their names continued through the 80’s.   Individual boys and girls clubs no longer existed but combined.  An example is Lowden Lassies ad Lowden Laddies combined to become Lowden Lasers.  Members were allowed to carry any project regardless of the type of club they belonged.

Like all counties, Cedar County 4-H has experienced changes over the years.  The one thing that continues is the 4-H commitment to youth and helping youth understand the issues of the time.  Many of today’s volunteers were former 4-H members.  Cedar County is fortunate to have multiple generations of 4-H members with continued interest in the 4-H program.


Hancock County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 12/19/2017 at 11:56 AM

Hancock County Extension – 4-H History

Extension work started in Hancock County as a result of the extension program and Farm Bureau being discussed by representatives of Iowa State College at the Farmer’s Institute held at Britt in 1917. During the first few years of extension work in the county the main emphasis was that of personal service and the development or organization of community clubs. At the time the main objective of farmers was to produce as much as possible as they were still riding on the high tide of farm prices due to the war boom. Serving as county agent for the period up until 1920 was Lee Nutty.

In 1921 to 1922 township farm bureaus were organized in practically every township in the county. Each township had its officers and township cooperators. It might be well to note here that up until this time the county agent was largely responsible for membership acquisitions; but following the organization of township farm bureaus this work was carried on more extensively by local leaders. During 1921 and 1922, as a result of leadership developed in township Farm Bureaus educational work was started on the demonstration basis. About one of the finest demonstrations held was on poultry culling.

Township organization developed rapidly, through which local leadership played an important part in more extensive educational work. The demonstration projects conducted soon doubled and tripled through the period of 1921 to 1924. By now local people were almost entirely taking charge of the membership solicitation. Women’s home project work and boys and girls club work became more and more popular and participation mounted very rapidly, due undoubtedly to the increasing number of local leaders.

4-H has served the same basic needs of youth from the very beginning. Changes in the youth program were primarily in educational methods and techniques, with the program itself have undergone some revision.

Total 4-H enrollment in Hancock County in 1939 was 150 boys and 78 girls. A steady increase in numbers brought the figures to 312 boys and 334 girls in 1960. The number of clubs increased from 10 boy’s and 8 girl’s to 19 boy’s and 22 girl’s clubs.

Projects taken by members of agricultural 4-H clubs expanded from entirely livestock to a much more diversified program.  Projects carried in addition to livestock and poultry were agronomy (including crops, soils, and climatology), electricity, garden, photography, woodworking, entomology, tractor, home and farm grounds improvement, farm management, and plant collection.

A special activity was part of the boy’s 4-H work for several years in the early days. The required activity was some specific subject matter on which special emphasis was place each year. The activity included a record book insert with leaders and club meetings devoted to the topic.

In the early years, the 4-H girl’s program was on an 8 year rotation system with 2 years of each of the following projects: foods and nutrition, home furnishings, clothing, and home efficiency. Later it was changed to one year of each of these projects and finally a 3 year rotation was set up with foods and nutrition, home furnishings, and clothing as projects and home efficiency was worked into each of these projects as a definite part. At the end of this period this rotation was set up so the north 1/3 of the state had the same project, central counties the same and the south 1/3 the same; rotating in this sequence: foods and nutrition, home furnishings, and clothing. The project focus is no longer in use.

The use of project leaders has been used since the beginning of 4-H in the county. These first projects with specific leaders included poultry, electricity, photography, crops, garden and climatology.

The training schools conducted by the Home Demonstration Agent increased from 3 meeting with 54 attending in 1944 to 20 with 454 attending in 1958. During that time period the 4-H girl’s club program made rapid changes and enrollment kept climbing.

As this increase was taking place the county events also changed. The 4-H Banquet, traditional in the earlier years had to change. Because of the lack of good facilities for such a large group it was changed to the County Award Night program only.

The two day Achievement Show in 1939 expanded to a four day Junior Fair with the number of exhibits and participants expanding proportionately. In 1953 the county fair moved from the Garner Sales Barn and Garner High School to a new location southeast of Britt. The conversion of a hemp plant built during World War II and the addition of new buildings and pole barns as needed furnished adequate facilities.

Examples of changes that have taken place in girls’ projects would be in the food and nutrition fields especially. Beginning in the late 1950’s there are fewer foods canned in homes with more emphasis on freezing. First came the commercial locker systems and progressed where a large percentage of home had freezers. It was noted in an annual report, “In fact the homemakers feel they are almost a necessity.” Also noted was the fact that 4-H’er began using prepared and packaged foods in their food preparation. In clothing and home furnishings project areas there was an emphasis placed on dressing according to personality and furnishing the home or room with personality in mind.

The involvement of the County 4-H Officers, both boys and girls during the early years  was limited to a county business meeting once a year. Their involvement in other areas began to change in the 1950’s. It was during this time that county 4-H officers began writing and printing a bi-monthly 4-H newsletter. The Award Night and Fun Night were planned by them. They set up and ran the 4-H foodstand at the county fair. It was the duty of the 4-H Girl’s officers to help the judges in the home economics department of the fair. These responsibilities have helped their leadership.

As a result of the separation from Farm Bureau in 1955, there were some changes in working with older rural youth. After 1955, Farm Bureau continued a RYP (Rural Youth Program) or FBYP (Farm Bureau Youth Program) for a few years. In 1957 a 4-H Junior Leadership Program was established to encourage older youth to participant in 4-H at least through high school. These young folks, however, had to be in a 4-H club to participate and the extension service had no specific program for those youth not in 4-H or too old to be 4-H members.

In the late 1950’ it was noted in an annual report that one of the problems being faced was the fact that many 4-H members will not be living on farms and the program must be designed accordingly. We find the same challenges today.


Notes from early Annual Reports

1928 – Started beef club with 24 members and 30 head. Pig club had 7 members and 11 pigs. Sow and litter club had 3 members with 11 pigs. Corn club had 5 members with an average of 64 bushels per acre. Clothing clubs had 177 members in 12 clubs. Dairy club had 18 members with 24 heifers. The 4-H banquet had 130 people attend.


Hancock County was the first 100% county in girls club work in the state. Club banquet had 235 people attending. The banquet was held on October 5 and Governor John Hammill gave a short speech. Sent a judging team to the Iowa State Fair. Dairy judging team went to Waterloo. County Achievement Show involved 9 boys clubs – 66 boys with 104 and 13 girls clubs. The exhibits were paraded and judged on Main Street of Garner. The sow and litter club was run by the Garner school.


County achievement show 9 clubs – 124 boys and girls exhibited 246 head of livestock; 14 girls clubs. Started a Mule Club with 3 members and 3 mules (one of 2 clubs in U.S.). Hancock County was again a 100% county in girls club work. 4-H Banquet had 290 people. Ronald Greiman had champion beef with his Angus heifer. The heifer placed 5th at the Iowa State Fair and was Grand Champion at the District Fair held in Algona. This was the first calf from the county to show at the International in Chicago. The calf was selected Champion Angus and Grand Champion in the 4-H Show.


138 members with livestock in 10 clubs 149 girls in 11 clubs. County Achievement Show had 300 head of livestock. Oscar Greiman had champion mare and Ron Greiman had champion purebred beef heifer. Eugene Greiman had champion steer at the county fair and North Iowa Fair.


County achievement show had 300 head of livestock and projects from 11 girls’ clubs. Had a horse pulling contest won by a pair of gray mares belonging to H.A. Greiman. Wayne Greiman had Champion Steer at the County Fair and Reserve Champion at the North Iowa Fair. Wiley Weaver had champion colt.


County achievement show had 500 head of livestock and 9 girls’ clubs. This was the first year livestock exhibits were showed in the sale pavilion of the Garner Sale Barn. Richard Greiman had champion steer and Clifford Anderson had reserve champion. Ron Greiman had champion colt.


First place Angus and Grand Champion Steer was shown by Don Greiman. This was the first champion sold at the Achievemtn Show. Ron Greiman had Champion Angus and Reserver Champion Overall at the North Iowa Fair. Horse judging team went to the National Belgium Show in Waterloo. Team members were Wiley Weaver, Wayne Greiman and George Boehnke. This was the first horse judging contest in the state. There were three Poultry Judging Teams that competed at the Cattle Congress. The Britt team was second and Garner team was fifth. Harold Hall was second high individual.


This was the first year blue, red and white ribbons were used – no champions were selected. There were no judging teams this year.


Five beef exhibitors went to the Iowa State Fair. Cliff Greiman placed 11th, Wayne Greiman placed 14th, Alvin Townsend placed 16th. There were no judging teams due to paralysis epidemic in Waterloo.


Elwin Weaver, Don Greiman, Wayne Greiman and Gerald Greiman took cattle to the Iowa State Fair placing 8th, 16th, 26th, and 27th respectively. The group placed 15th. The Colt Club received the Iowa Horse and Mule Breeders Traveling Trophy for their outstanding work. First Bee Club was organized with 4 members.


Due to World War II, there were few leaders for boys clubs and women lost interest in helping much for the girls clubs. There was an achievement show and there were two judging teams.


Boys attended a “short course” in Ames and girls had a four county camp at Clear Lake. No one showed livestock outside of the county this year.


WWII still impacted the 4-H program. The number of clubs had fallen off over the past few years. Boys were still sent to the “short course”.


There was a County Achievement Show judging contest (started in 1943 or 1944). Harvey Ausborn had a perfect score, Don Greiman placed 2nd in the judging contest. Glen Wille won “big” at the North Iowa Fair with his Poland China hogs.


Don Geiman had Champion Steer and exhibited the Champion Steer at Cattle Congress in Waterloo. He placed 5th in his class in Chicago at the International Livestock Show. Maynard Dorow was selected as State Colt Club winner and attended the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. Don Greiman showed the Reserve Champion Heifer at the Iowa State Fair, was 1st in Beef Showmanship and runner-up 4-H State Fair King.


County clubs participated in sending money to the “Goodwill Garden Seed Program”. The money was sent to European countries to aid in recovering after WWII. The 4-H Banquet was held at the Garner High School auditorium. The program included an accordion solo by Iris Rosendahl. The County Achievement Show was held for 4 days at the Garner Sales Barn. There was a county wide 4-H fun night on May 1st attended by 330 members, leaders and parents. There wa a District 4-H boys and girls leadership camp held at the Methodist Camp in Clear Lake.


One new club was organized in Twin Lakes township. The girls formed the club by simply making personal contacts. Miss Mary Jones was one of 12 representatives in America from the British Farm Youth organization. Miss Jones was quoted as saying “The way you waste food here, it is really scandalous”. England was still undergoing severe rationing when she visited Hancock County farms.


Hancock County 4-H clubs and Rural Youth Group participated with the International Youth Exchange Program by sending $119. Betty Kramer and David Smith attended the Internation Livestock Exposition in Chicago. There were selected based on “good, long-time record books”. The County 4-H Chorus sang three of the 4-H songs learned in the music program. The chorus, composed of 2 girls from each club, was directed by Mrs. Byron Calhoun.


4-H Boys officers were Norman Stromer, President and Thurman Gaskill, Vice President. Lois Hueneman was selected as one of two from Iowa to participate in the International Youth Exchange and went to Germany. There were committee formed to explored the establishment of a fairgrounds in Garner.


Elsie Mae Van Wert, Extension Home Economist, was initated as an honorary 4-H member. The show ring at the fairgrounds was built.


Minnie Pearl Grand Ole Opry show was the first professional entertainment at the county fair.


Home Ec building built on the fairgrounds. KGLO trip to Chicago was the most sought after county award and continues today.


4-H Foodstand was run by the county officers. A permanent stand was constructed after the fair with the profits ($700). The 4-H Traveler (newsletter) was started by the county officers and came out quarterly. There were 3 new cattle barns built.


Locust and ash trees were planted on the fairgrounds.


Harvey Johnson was the IFYE delegate and went to South Africa. The 4-H clubs raised $2100 for the State 4-H camping center. The check was presented by a delegation from Hancock County to ISU President Hilton on November 10. The county 4-Her’s also sent money to help establish the National 4-H Center in Washington, D.C. County officer activities included District 4-H Camp, Award Night, Fun Night, Junior Leadership, 4-H Foodstand, selling ads for the fair premium book, State 4-H Camp Fund Drive, 4-H officer training and IFYE continued with the support of the local clubs.


New 4-H uniforms were selected by the State 4-H Office. Lewis Store in Britt and Goodnatures in Garner handled the new uniform material.

The Clover Kids program for grades K-3 was started around 2002 and is currently reaching nearly half of the 4-Hers in Hancock County.  Recent expansions of the program included doing a K-1st class and a 2-3rd grade class after school in both West Hancock and Garner Hayfield Ventura school districts.  In recent years the Clover Kid membership has been over 100 members.

4-H afterschool programming is a historically successful program that continues today.  Starting in the early 2000’s the program has met weekly ranging from 16 total weeks during the school year to nearly every week of the school year.  Some topics covered by the group include kitchen science, crime scene investigation, farm animals and how they feed us and we feed them, and the science of music and sound.  Typically this program has around 20 students participating at each school district, West Hancock, and Garner Hayfield Ventura.

FIRST LEGO League began in Hancock county in 2008 for grades 4th-8th.  Hancock County Extension manages the teams and volunteers that participate.  By 2009 we added a second team and in 2013 we added two more teams and a FIRST Tech Challenge team for high school students.  Interest spread quickly and Jr. FLL teams for K-3rd grade have been added.  Our FIRST Tech Challenge team is currently disbanded but the programs for the younger kids continue to be strong, varying between 3-5 teams in each age category.  Hancock County Teams have advanced to state several years and have performed very well.  The FLL teams work on coding and fixing real world problem all while following a set of Core Values.  It is a great program to learn sportsmanship and work ethic. 

The 4-H county council has been 9-12 grade leaders in the county for many years.  There has been an average of 20 youth in this group through the years.  The group has historically been in charge of the 4-H award program, a county wide community service project, and many responsibilities at the annual fair.  In 2011 and intermediate county council group was also started for 7-8th graders.  They engage in hands-on teambuilding games to learn leadership skills and how to use teambuilding games to teach others.  They also have guest speakers from the community teach about what it means to be a leader and how to articulate your leadership skills.

In 2013 the Extension Council asked for a change in the programming offered in Hancock County.  They wanted to see a shift to focus on summer workshops that provided kids opportunities to learn new skills, tour and learn about the local community, and build skills and knowledge in 4-H project areas.  In 2014 11 workshops were offered reaching 156 youth in Hancock County.  In 2015 22 workshops reached 315 youth.  In 2016 26 workshops reached 456 youth.  In 2017 39 workshops offered 501 youth the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in a hands-on fun learning environment.  Some workshops offered include: Canvas Painting Workshop, On Their Own & OK, Rabbit Workshops, Melted Crayon Canvas Workshops, Creative Kids Summer Open Arts Studio, Personalized Pom-Pom Pillow, Wacky World of Edible Science, Drone Workshop, How to Face Paint, The Real Heroes Clover Kids Camp, Garner Summer Arts Program, Cattle Clinic, Cultural Tastebuds, Upcycled Rug, Suessical the Musical Production, Jr First Lego League Camps, Bucket Bottle Calf/Lamb Workshop, Speak It Communication Tour, Winnebago Industries Tour, Robotics 101 & Advanced Robotics, ISU Insect Zoo & Maggot Masterpiece, Theatre Arts Workshops.

Expanding on the success of the Summer Explorations workshop model has included a minimum of one workshop offered per month at the county level and club workshops organized by staff to ensure that each 4-H club member has an opportunity to make an exhibit for the fair and fill out the goal sheet during the workshop. 

Des Moines County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 12/18/2017 at 9:23 AM

Story of 4-H and Youth Development in Des Moines County

Around the turn of the 20th century, clubs for youth were formed to teach youth life skills.  With the passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914, county agents in Iowa began to organize local clubs with the help of local leaders and volunteers.  Des Moines County was no exception.  Youth throughout the county were recruited to join boys and girls clubs that would focus on agriculture and home economics respectively.

The story of 4-H in Extension in Des Moines County is rooted in agriculture, but over its 100-year history has grown into a community educational service that also includes home and family, health, the economy, and youth development. This long-established three-way partnership between Des Moines County, Iowa State University and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides local youth with access to education and university research across a wide range of disciplines and issues.

The beginnings of 4-H and youth development  

The Tri-States Fair began in 1915 with ten counties in three states (Iowa, Illinois, Missouri) participating. The four counties in Iowa were Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa. Held in Burlington from 1915 until 1946, the fair was a major event providing a showcase for youth to display their projects. Barns for poultry, beef, swine and dairy were filled with animals to compete in the show ring. Boys brought projects related to crops and other aspects of agriculture while girls displayed their work in sewing, canning, gardening and other homemaking areas.


DSM Teens

In 1916, the first mention was made of club work when twenty-three boys carried baby beef calf projects. Both boys and girls joined four clubs focusing on baby beef, pigs, acre corn and gardening. Clubs were first organized in townships with such names as Franklin Township club or Washington Township club. Danville had two clubs, one in the ‘Tornado’ district and the other in the ‘Long Creek’ district. Several new clubs were reported at the 1918 exposition (Tri-State Fair). A Girls Canning Club was organized by Miss Pearle L Greene, Home Demonstration Agent. The club presented demonstrations on canning since food conservation was encouraged due to shortages created by the War.

With the increase in interest among youth, it was felt additional staff members were needed. A meeting was held in West Liberty on February 4, 1919 to discuss securing the services of a 4-H club agent on a six-county basis. No action was taken then and it wasn’t until Feb 12, 1926 that Howard Schnittjer was hired half-time jointly with Lee County.



4-H by any other name is still the same 

“Junior Clubs” or “boys and girls club work” were the terms used in reports until the mid-1920s at which time they were referred to as 4-H Clubs.  Clubs were often called by the leader’s name or referred to as a township club. In 1929, canning clubs were listed by the leader’s name – e.g. Mrs. Faith Stucker’s Club and Mrs. H.O. Chandler’s Club.  

Clubs organized around project areas increased in number with reports of a 19-member canning club in Huron Township and 70 members in clothing clubs. By 1925 there were ten clothing clubs with 153 members. Nutrition clubs were formed a few years later. (It is not clear from the reports whether girls were in the same project club from year to year or if they joined a different project club each year.)   

The first mentions of individually named clubs were the Worth While Club of Yellow Springs Township and the Columbia Club with Miss Dorothy Bryant as leader. Boys 4-H clubs were also called by the name of the town, such as Yarmouth Club, or by the project until they were encouraged to also select a club name. It wasn’t until 1938 that the first two boys clubs chose a name - the Burlington Harvesters and Junior Judges 4-H clubs.

4-H Club work seen as vitally important

The stated purpose of 4-H club work in the 1920s was to train boys and girls in leadership and citizenship and to give them training in the best known practices of farming and homemaking.  For girls, an added purpose was: “to develop an appreciation of what is ordinarily considered routine work in the home…to promote a spirit of cooperation in localities, to develop healthy habits, and to broaden the acquaintanceship to include all members.”  Community leaders believed that 4-H club work was of vital importance in the county. Though not a stated purpose, it was acknowledged that 4-H teaches the parents better methods of farming and home making through the work done by their children in the 4-H clubs.  

One club existing in the 1920s was the Junior Potato Club organized in 1924 to better acquaint boys and girls and their parents with potato growing. A peck of treated early Ohio potatoes was given to each girl and boy. Results showed that potatoes can be grown in Iowa to a good advantage if they have good seed, treat the seed and give the crop the proper care.

The Market Litter club began in 1926 when youth enrolled through the Consolidated Schools of Huron, Sperry, Mediapolis, Yarmouth and the Danville School. County Club Agent Howard Schnittjer wrote: “I feel this club has a real value… because there are still so many farmers (who raise) inferior…pigs and let them run in the barnyards where hogs have run for the last 40 or 50 hog generations…”  The members of the Market Litter club  were: Gerald Barton, Bert Thomes, Robert Gerling, Carl Brown, Russell Seymour, Charles Michaels, Robert McIntyre, Eugene Moore, Claude Moore, Charles Beck, and Paul Tonkinson.

Local groups “…who helped materially in furthering 4-H club work were the newspapers of the county (Burlington Gazette and the Burlington Hawkeye), the Greater Burlington Association, the Burlington banks and business men.”  In 1926 4-H membership grew to 357 members, only to drop to 180 the following year when they were without a Club Agent due to his resignation. 

Approved footwear an issue

The 1920s brought changes in women’s fashions with Likely that was the reason for concerns about styles of clothing and footwear for girls and women in the mid-20s.  Extension junior girls clubs had a ‘shoe campaign’ to promote ‘approved shoes’.  The only hint of what constituted ‘approved shoes’ was in a later report that described these shoes as ‘straight-lined and low heeled’.

The first demonstration teams from Des Moines County went to the State Fair in 1923. They were Approved Foot Wear (Misses Ruth Medefesser and Eleanor Gregg, Danville) and Sewing Demonstration (Misses Esther Brunken and Helen Sawtell, Danville). 

The 1926 Extension Report included: “The clothing clubs…reach and influence more homes than does any other of the clubs. The work…has been influential causing the girls to wear approved shoes, to use better judgment in the planning of their entire wardrobe…”   Indeed, included in a 4-H program flyer that year were the Ten Commandments for an Iowa Club Girl. Along with such items as “Thou shalt appreciate good music” and “Thou shalt learn to ply the needle” was “Thou shalt not have ten sardines, but ten toes”.   The cooperation of the Greater Burlington Association, The Burlington Gazette and of Glick’s Wearing Apparel for Women was reported to be very instrumental in making the clothing clubs a success.

Approved footwear remained a focus as late as 1932 when it was reported that girls were buying the low heeled oxford shoes for sport wear and the military heel for dress and that they were proud to be wearing such a type. The county health doctor, Dr Suggett, noted that “…those having feet defects have been practicing exercises, trying to remedy their faults.” And still in 1940 mention was made by the Unity Club leader, Marjorie Bryant, of the focus on approved shoes: “One thing I’m particularly proud of is that each of the thirty members of this club is wearing approved shoes.”

4-H Slogan: Win without bragging, lose without squealing

4-H Health Contests were held at the county level; and in 1928, the contest was judged by Doctors Schaefer of Burlington, Mathias of Mediapolis and Campbell of Yarmouth. Winners Lillian Murphy of Union Township and Dale Nau of Danville Township went to state fair that year. Jim Evans in 1923 and Kenneth Redfern in 1929 not only won at the county level but were pronounced State Health Winners.  

Exhibits at the county fair were by club rather than by individuals. An example of a county fair class: “Collection of five jars of food including fish or meat which will make a well balanced meal.” And “three jars of different kinds of food to help solve the winter vegetable salad problem.”

County officers were elected for the first time in 1927 at the annual club banquet attended by 150 boys and girls. Elected were: Kenneth Redfern, President from Yarmouth; Keith Nau, Vice President from Danville; and Norman Smith, Secretary-Treasurer from Burlington. The county girls’ 4-H clubs first had their own officers in 1930.



In 1930 it was observed that “rural America’s brightest and better educated youth” were leaving the farm. The conclusion was “…it remains for Extension work, through the 4-H clubs, to train and save these young people for leaders in the rural communities.” Further it was believed that club work “…develops love and pride in farming, teaches cooperation…stresses respect for law and order, and teaches youth to express effectively and simply.”

Securing the services of a Home Demonstration Agent to work with girls clubs or a male county club agent to work with all 4-H clubs was strongly recommended to the Farm Bureau, who was the sponsoring agency at that time. In 1930, a Home Demonstration Agent was hired. It wasn’t until 1935 that Walter Eyre was hired as the first county club agent since 1926.  

4-H activities continued despite the Great Depression

The depression and poor economy had an impact on youth programs. The Baby Beef Club was smaller because the boys could not afford the ‘exorbitant price’ the beef breeders charged for calves. 4-H girls received clothing lessons on sewing their own clothes or making over old clothes “…thus helping their parents economize in these hard times.”  In those days, incentives were practical items like a five pound sack of whole wheat flour for getting reports in on time. Or the first girl in each club who baked her quick bread project received a box of dates and a date pitter. 

Meanwhile 4-H activities continued although commitment varied.  Mrs. Wilbur Chandler, leader of the Ever Ready Club, reported that one girl dropped out in the summer with a sigh saying it was too hot to sew. Another 4-H girl sat up almost all night to finish her dress for the style show.  A third girl walked five miles to her Achievement Day program carrying garments that she made. Parental involvement differed, too. One mother asked how to finish the pocket on a uniform her daughter was supposed to be making for the contest.  Yet another mother turned over the complete wardrobe problem to her daughter.

Community support important to 4-H program

Schools supported 4-H by providing time and space for clubs to meet.  Mr. Holmes Hamilton, Superintendent of Huron High School, allowed the Huron Junior Farmers to meet every two weeks during the school year.  But not everyone could attend school in those days. One club was organized in a community “…where a great number of the girls do not have an opportunity to go to High School. Here, the 4-H club gives them the companionship and inspiration these girls would otherwise miss.”

The Kiwanis club sponsored a hybrid corn project and encouraged club members in their work. Later Kiwanis members visited the 4-H members’ homes and held a banquet for them at the end of the project year. 

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce financed ten club calves by drawing names of 4-H members to receive a calf, then touring the farm to check on the animals.  When a committee from the Chamber and the Tri-State Fair board toured the farms, a newspaper article detailed these interesting highlights:

*At the Beckman farm, Robert put on a ‘bulldozing’ show for a little excitement. His calf didn’t take kindly to visitors and attempted to bolt. Robert soon had him under control.

* Two members of the group were nearly run over at the Belknap farm by two Herefords that were frightened by a pig which suddenly squealed; but Lloyd soon stopped them.

*An interesting sidelight at the Nau farm was the 4-H member’s mare named Echo and Echo’s colt, Re-echo.

The first county fair auction of animals was held in 1936 to benefit the boys and girls “who wished to dispose of their calves.”  The committee solicited pledges from businessmen to assure success. At auction the grand champion Hereford was exhibited by James Schulte and sold for $17.75/hundred pounds. Purchased by cashier Mortimer Goodwin of the First National Bank, the calf weighed 1,150 pounds.

It wasn’t ‘all work and no play’

For the bi-centennial birthday of George Washington in 1932, the Cheerful Chums 4-H Club made colonial costumes and danced the minuet at Rally Day. Music contests were held yearly so girls could learn ‘better music’ by recognizing songs written by famous composers.

There was a Kittenball Tournament with three clubs having softball teams competing at the Mediapolis ballpark. Both boys and girls clubs held a picnic jointly with the Farm Bureau at Perkins Park October 1939. Activities included horseshoe pitching, three-legged race, checkers tournament and contests for hog calling, tug of war and nail driving.  Highlights of each year were events such as 4-H Rally Days (separate ones for boys and girls), Tri-State Fair, State Convention and State Fair.

The girls Rally Day included the election and installation of officers, a luncheon, club songs and skits. Girls were encouraged to wear the Iowa official 4-H uniform then and it was noted how many clubs were 100% in uniform. “These ‘girls in blue’ symbolize the ideal American farm girls.”

A feature of the Tri-State Fair was the 4-H Club Camp for 4-H boys who stayed on the fairgrounds to care for their animals. The YMCA assisted with daily activities such as ping-pong, ring toss, horseshoe and baseball along with special talks by well-known Burlington men. For $4.00 for the full week (and helping in the kitchen) boys enjoyed daily swims at the Y, good meals, and a trip through the carnival grounds.

One year the Greater Burlington Association hosted the annual club banquet at Hotel Burlington with the Honorable John Hammill, Governor of Iowa, and R.K. Bliss, Iowa Extension Director as speakers. As usual, group singing was part of the program – songs such as Till We Meet Again, the Iowa Corn Song and Jingle Bells. 

Local celebrity honored with heroine’s welcome

Edith Belknap, a 16-year-old member of the Happy Larks 4-H Club in Yellow Springs Township, was chosen as County Health Champion in 1936 and won at the State Fair to represent Iowa at the national 4-H girls health contest in Chicago. This brought honor to her and Des Moines County; and she was accorded a heroine’s welcome.

A newspaper headline read Mediapolis Girl Health Champion and described plans for welcoming her back to the county. School authorities and leading citizens of Mediapolis made plans for a reception on her return from the state fair. In Burlington a public demonstration was considered, sponsored by officials of the Tri-State Fair Association, as well as plans to dedicate the Sunday night band concert in Crapo Park her.  

Girls undaunted by weather woes

Poor weather affected transportation of girls to club meetings in 1938. Mrs. Bob Henry, leader of the M.A.C. club, wrote: “Unusual club spirit was shown by the fact that there was perfect attendance at all of the meetings despite the fact that it rained at nearly every meeting. The girls came by nearly every means of conveyance to attend, these meetings; namely, walking, bicycles, ponies, horse and buggy, and cars. This shows their determination to be 4-H girls.”  Mrs. W.B. Smith, club leader in Washington Township, reported assisting with transportation. “As many of the girls had no way to go the county fair, we hired a truck for $4.50 to take all of them…they took their lunches, stayed all day, and for the evening entertainment.”

In the 1930s examples of county fair classes for club projects included a Wash Day unit (clothes pin bag, clothes line, hamper, homemade soap) or Ironing Day Unit (ironing board cover, ironing board protector, clothes sprinkler). County fair demonstrations included such topics as Hospitality and Table Etiquette, How to Obtain Good Results From Ironing, Healthy Feet Make Happy Smiles, and Cleaning Metals.

A contest was held in May 1938 to name the newsletter for 4-H members. 4-H Scribblins was chosen, submitted by Emilie Schuler of Sperry. By 1993 it was named The Clover Leaf and continues to this day (2015).



War affected club work

During the early 1940s, World War II affected 4-H as some events were scaled back or canceled altogether. The Tri-State Fair went from a week-long event to three days and was called the County 4-H Club Show. Some girls 4-H leaders resigned due to extra fieldwork and other work they were called to do.  Many felt that 4-H club work was an activity they could drop to save time, travel and money during the war. In addition the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant that took 20,000 acres out of the county resulted in relocation of many families, thus limiting the expansion of several clubs in the county. This resulted in an all-time low of only three girls 4-H clubs: Unity, Industrious Maids, and Ever Ready. There were eight ‘farm project’ (boys) 4-H clubs.

Still during this time period, Des Moines County sent a contingent of boys to a Chicago event, presented training schools for the girls, hosted a large Jubilee at the Hotel Burlington and showed exhibits at the county fair. They participated in skating parties, camps, record book parties and plenty of demonstrations.

C.C. Cotton, County Agent in agriculture, spoke to the girls at their Rally Day about their responsibilities in the defense program. 4-H members were active in war emergency campaigns by buying and selling bonds, participating in the county Red Cross drive and collecting scrap rubber and iron.

With the “Food for Freedom” slogan in mind, both boys and girls added projects with garden and potato clubs. More than 3800 pounds of certified seed potatoes were planted by club members in cooperation with Benner Tea Company of Burlington. Members planted, tended and harvested the potatoes and paid for their seed after potatoes were sold. If they were Grade A, they could sell them to the store over market price.  4-H members had not been greatly interested in swine production in the past but with increased pork production requested by the government; both boys and girls were involved in feeding market pigs and market litters. 

A lingering effect of the war was a drop in 4-H interest among older members due to the defense program, which recruited 17-19 year olds late in 1950. “This ‘oh well, what’s the use – I’ll probably soon be in the armed forces’ attitude affected not only the older boys, but many of the younger ones as well.”

The Tri-State Fair disbanded in 1946 due to financial difficulties. The Des Moines County Fair Association was approved April 1947 and has sponsored the fair since then. From 1951 to 1974 the county fair was known as the Burlington Hawkeye Fair; and in 1974 was renamed the Des Moines County Fair.   

Return to normalcy later in 1940s

The first 4-H Rally Day since the war began was in 1945. A county skating party held at the end of the heaviest summer's work fell on V-J Day.  It turned out to be “a most happy arrangement”. Parents, leaders, and club members were at the skating rink 200 strong.

A special feature at the 1947 county fair was a 4-H livestock parade where the boys and their animals were presented as they passed the reviewing stand and girls in the home economics clubs were presented on the stage.

1949 saw the highest number of girls 4-H clubs (12) up to that point in history. Unity 4-H Club was listed as the oldest continuously organized club in the county.

Jubilee an annual recognition event

Since 1945 an annual 4-H Jubilee for boys and girls 4-H members, leaders and parents was held at Hotel Burlington to recognize members’ achievements. The Jubilee was usually in January with the two county 4-H presidents (boy and girl) sharing Master of Ceremonies duties. The annual banquet was typically attended by over 400. The hour-long program was broadcast live over KBUR radio station.

Each year an outstanding boy and girl were recognized for work in the prior year.  At the 1946 4-H Jubilee, the Hawkeye-Gazette presented a war bond to the outstanding 4-H club boy and girl, Myron Schulz Jr. and Marjorie Walker.

The master of ceremonies in 1949 was Ted Hutchcroft, a Mediapolis 4-H club member, and also one of 30 delegates from the USA sent to Europe that year under the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) program. (In 2014 Ted Hutchcroft recalled that it was unusual for farm boys to travel overseas. This experience set the path for his life’s work when he was hired as information director of the National 4-H Foundation, later serving in several foreign countries to aid development of 4-H-like rural youth groups.)



Beverly Walker elected State President of 4-H girls clubs

It was reported that Des Moines County was very proud to have Beverly Walker (now Beverly Gerst) elected State 4-H Girls President at the June 1950 girls state 4-H convention. The Des Moines County delegation campaigned with songs and cheers for Ambitious Pals 4-H Club member Walker who served as President for the 1950-51 year.

A new event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce for members who had completed record books was held at Memorial Auditorium in 1950.  Dubbed the Record Book Party, 200 attended the first one. “It was most gratifying to have the agricultural committee of the Chamber of Commerce decide to reward all boys and girls who had completed their projects by completing (their) record books and turning them in to the office.” Appreciation for their sponsorship was shown at the 1954 event hosted by 70 businessmen when 4-H girls presented each host with a homemade pumpkin pie!

4-H Club Council promotes activities

A county 4-H Club Council made up of one member of each of the boys and girls clubs was formed in 1952  to promote interest and expand 4-H programs and activities. Projects included building and operating a refreshment stand at the county fair and putting up roadside welcome signs at four entrances to the county. 

The group held a recreation training school to learn square dancing so that they could help teach it in their local clubs.  Later 700 youth and adults attended a county-wide square dance October 1953 as a fund raiser for the State 4-H Camp. “…at one time, there were as many as 17 squares going at the same time…The crowd especially enjoyed the bunny hop, the butterfly waltz and the circle two steps.” 

A first in 1956 was a 4-H Exchange trip sponsored by Burlington Bank and Trust for two boys selected to visit Colorado for two weeks.  Leonard Lane and Gary Tucker were chosen and then later hosted two boys from Colorado. The next year it was the girls’ turn to participate. 4-H members Linda Lee and Martha Mapel exchanged visits with 4-H members from Wyoming.  (Martha Jane Mapel Bechtel later served as Extension Home Economist for Des Moines County). 

The Benner Tea Company sponsored the first leaders’ banquet in 1957 for all club leaders and their spouses.  

J. S. Schramm Company sponsored style shows

As part of teaching about better grooming, J. S. Schramm Company, a women’s clothing store in downtown Burlington, presented a style show along with Simplicity Pattern Company and Warner Brothers Foundation Garment Company.  1000 attended the multi-county event planned for 4-H club members, home economics students and home economists. Similar events were held several years with Mrs. Betty Guy, Schramm’s stylist, coordinating the shows.  

Adults and youth receive state awards for 4-H work

In the early 1950s, 4-H member Marion Anderson received the state award for the best dairy record book in the state. Warren Gustafson won a trip to National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago for his poultry projects and later Howard Keitzer won the trip for his electricity project. The first person in Des Moines County history to receive the Emerald Award of the Clover was Cecil Krekel in 1955 for 25 years of 4-H leadership. In 1956 and 1957 respectively, Mrs. W.W. Carithers, Morning Sun, and Mrs. Kenneth Baugher, Danville, were one of only four Iowans to receive the State 4-H Alumni Achievement Award.



First Co-Ed 4-H Club organized

Most 4-H clubs and many events were separate for boys and girls. In 1956 interest was expressed in the Middletown and Iowa Ordinance Plant area for a 4-H club for both boys and girls. “This idea was quite a departure from the traditional organization of boys and girls clubs.” (Girls had sometimes been part of a boy’s club if they had livestock projects.) The club began with 5 boys and 15 girls. Since none were farm youth, members had such projects as entomology, plant collection and electricity. “Results…indicate that club work can be done successfully with non-farm boys and girls…and in the same club.”

The 4-H Club Committee ruled in 1960 that girls couldn’t be in a boys club but had to be in a girls ‘livestock’ club to show animals. This was later withdrawn due to much opposition, so girls were allowed to be in a boys club as long as they were also in a girls club.

Perhaps that was the impetus for a ‘new concept of 4-H’ in 1961 when “…for the first time in the history of the 4-H organization a combined Rally Night of both boys and girls clubs featured the selection of a 4-H county officer council.” Also in 1961 the boys and girls 4-H club committees of adults combined into one Extension Youth Committee. Interestingly, that same year, the original co-ed club, the Middletown Mixers, had separated into a girls club called Middletown Meadowlarks and a boy’s club called Middletown Missiles. The first ‘urban’ girls 4-H club, Mississippi Merry Makers, was chartered in March 1961.

The former 4-H Jubilee was not held in 1963, but was combined with the Recognition Party and for the first time was under the leadership of the 4-H county officers. 

Cooperative efforts

Extension programs have always been dependent on many volunteers and agencies as cooperators in programs. It is the ‘Cooperative’ Extension Service after all! Some examples of cooperators: a 4-H Calendar was sponsored by the National Bank of Burlington and sent to every 4-H family to stimulate interest and to spread the 4-H name and emblem throughout the county. The Burlington Chamber of Commerce sponsored 4-H gate signs.  

Honors and awards for 4-H alumni

Former 4-H member, Ted Hutchcroft, was the featured speaker at the Jubilee in 1960. Hutchcroft lived in Washington DC serving with the National 4-H Club Foundation. At the 18th annual Jubilee in 1962, Julia Metier, former Des Moines County Extension Home Economist, and Clarence W. Moody, retired editor of the Burlington Hawk Eye, received county 4-H Meritorious Service awards.

Special recognition was given at the state and national levels to adult volunteers in 4-H work. Art Centner received a certificate of recognition from the national 4-H alumni recognition program in 1961. Howard Waters of Danville was one of four Iowans to receive the Iowa 4-H Alumni Recognition award for 1966. Cecil Krekel received the Sapphire Clover award for 35 years of service to 4-H.

4-H enrollment climbs with expansion into new areas  

New types of projects to ‘fit the city 4-H need’ included rockets, taxidermy, dramatics and electronics. A dog project was led by Dr. R. J. Cowles, Burlington veterinarian. Five 4-H clubs completed gun safety activities with instructors Myron Schulz, Calvin Wirt, Marion Drinkall and Mr. Ellison. Arne Nielsen led the new county electric project group and Chuck Siekman and Bob Scott offered training for the photography project.

In 1960, for the first time 4-H club membership was over 500. Some clubs were so large they divided and chose new names – such as Unity Echoes, Long Creek Lassies, Honey Bees, Colonial Maids, Jimtown Hawks and Burlington Harvesters.

Concordia Champions 4-H club planted 3,250 Australian, red, and white pine trees on the Burton Prugh acreage south of Burlington as a forestry project in 1961. This was done by machine with the help of foresters as a public demonstration on tree planting, soil conservation and woodlot establishment.

The year 1964 marked 50 years of ISU Extension and 4-H in Des Moines County. A Golden Anniversary program was held March 18 to commemorate the milestone. 4-Hers wore uniforms from different periods to showcase the changes over time. The program included a re-creation of one of the first girls demonstrations to go to the State Fair, "We Can Carrots."  A commemorative pin oak tree was planted at the Burlington Hawkeye Fair grounds.

For the 18th year, Mrs. B. J. Holihan was the chief cook at 4-H Dining Hall at the Burlington Hawkeye Fair serving about 100 4-H members three full meals a day in 1965.

Judy Laue and Carolyn Hodges won a trip to the 1966 State Fair demonstrating the use of nonfat dry milk. They later extended their teaching into the community with five demonstrations to 250 people. Mary Logan was a delegate to the 1966 State 4-H Safety Conference and was motivated to organize a coffee stop in Mediapolis over Labor Day weekend to help drivers stay alert while driving. At least 200 cars stopped by.  

4-H ‘advances’ into new urban projects

An innovative new Extension outreach for low-income youth was initiated in 1969 by Jim Hodges, County Extension Director, and carried out with the assistance of three summer staff members who were college students and former 4-H members: Richard McDonald, Kathy Strawhacker and Patricia Steiner.

Called the Des Moines County 4-H for Advancement of Youth program, program outreach was to youth in families of limited income. Week-long day camps at South Sixth Street and Flint Hills Manor along with sewing and woodworking classes were offered in Burlington. Eventually this led to new 4-H clubs: Cloverettes, an older girl’s 4-H club of 22 African Americans led by Katherine Bigson and Helene Miller, and Green Lollipops 4-H club for 9-12 year olds with Marscine Knotts as leader.

Summer sewing classes were held for older siblings of Head Start children. Strawhacker and Steiner taught 24 girls to sew garments, which they modeled in a style show for their parents and friends. In the fall, parents of the girls requested sewing classes for themselves. “Mrs. Arlene Weissinger, an Extension secretary, was detached from the office one morning each week for two months to conduct classes” for the adults.

Expanded Nutrition Program comes to Des Moines County

Due to the farsightedness of Extension Director Hodges who saw the need to reach out to youth in limited resource families, programs put in place in the late 1960s set the stage for the successful launching of the youth phase of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), called Expanded Nutrition Program (ENP) in Iowa.

The youth phase of the Expanded Nutrition Program began in 1969 with hiring an Extension 4-H & Youth Leader for ENP, Vena Rossman Dyer. Since the purpose of ENP was to improve the nutrition knowledge and eating habits of low-income children, Extension staff worked closely with schools and agencies such as Salvation Army and Community Action Agency to reach eligible children and families.



County fair facilities on the move

The decade of the 70s brought changes to the county fair. Due to the construction of a freeway through Burlington, the fairgrounds had to be relocated in 1973. Facilities in nearby Middletown were used for the 4-H competitions and displays for several years.

A unique partnership involving the County Board of Supervisors, Southeastern Community College (SCC) and the County Fair Board was completed in 1977 with a signed agreement to provide shared facilities for a permanent county fairgrounds on the campus of the Southeastern Community College. The new Agri-Sports Arena (gymnasium) and Agri-Livestock Arena became the home of 4-H for the Des Moines County Fair in 1977 when the county fair was held for the first time on the SCC campus, an arrangement which continues to this day (2017).    

4-H members spread their wings outside the county

As long as Les Schoffelman was the Extension 4-H & Youth Leader for both Des Moines and Henry counties (1967-1986), many events he coordinated were joint endeavors between the two counties. Each year during the 1970s, older 4-H members and adults from both counties visited the Iowa Legislature in session to learn the process of state government first hand and to meet local legislators. Trips were also arranged for older 4-H members to go to Washington DC for the Citizenship Short Course.

Two-way exchange trips with groups of 4-H members from another state were carried out. Instead of two young people visiting another state as in the 1960s, this gave the opportunity to 15 or 20 youth to enjoy the experience. One year they were guests of another state’s 4-H program and the next year they were the hosts. States involved in exchanges included North Carolina, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania among others.

The highest ever enrollment in traditional 4-H club program with 689 members in 37 clubs occurred in 1972 and has not been matched since. In addition, 4286 youth were reached through the Expanded Nutrition Program.

Traditional 4-H Club continues to broaden  

Urban expansion with “responsibilities to seek out and expand the youth program to urban and disadvantaged audiences” impacted the traditional 4-H club program. Project training sessions were held in knitting, climatology/weather reporting, and photography. Each summer, college age students were employed in the county office to assist with summer camps, county fairs and other Extension activities.

New clubs were formed around special interests of youth – similar to the beginnings of club work in the 1920s.  Along with sheep and horse clubs, there was a tropical fish club and clubs with ENP youth interested in cooking and gardening. One club, the Cool Cavonnettes, began as a music group led by volunteer Chris Wiemann. She organized a special Christmas program with the youth opened to the public.

Des Moines County was recognized as a ‘pioneer’ in Iowa for having several Special Education clubs.  Three special education clubs were formed - Happy Hearts, Dankwardt Oaks and Jolly Roses. 

Visits to elementary schools and recruitment at summer day camps and project groups resulted in more than 30 clubs formed during the decade.  Some of the new clubs were Hilltop Helpers, Beaver Tails, Burlington Sprockets, Hibernia Helpers, Soaring Eagles and North Corner Cloverettes. 

School nutrition taught through innovative Menu Packets

An elementary principal expressed a need for a way to encourage students to try new or different foods on the school lunch menus. Vena Rossman Dyer, the Extension 4-H & Youth Leader with the Expanded Nutrition Program, created a weekly ‘menu packet’ for teachers which illustrated a food on the menu each day. The teacher read about the food item to the students before lunch to interest them in trying the food. This began with 37 teachers in three elementary schools.

When Dyer resigned, Patricia Steiner was hired and continued the program expanding to 123 teachers in all 13 Burlington elementary schools. The packets proved so popular that eventually 245 teachers throughout the entire county requested them reaching nearly 4000 youth each week. Word of the innovative project spread and the Menu Packet program was featured in a 1973 issue of the School Food Service Journal. The next year Steiner was a panel speaker at the national meeting of American Home Economics Association in Los Angeles CA where samples of the menu packet were distributed to the 600 attendees in that session.

How does your garden grow?

Summer gardening experience was provided in the early 1970s for children from limited resource families. Vacant lots were located at Miller Street on the south side of Burlington and at Lucas and Belmont streets near the ‘Manor’. More than 150 children planted an 8’ X 12’ plot and were taught to plant and care for vegetables. Songs and games related to gardens and nutrition were activities they enjoyed as well as learning how to harvest and prepare foods.  Family members were invited to a field day at the gardens and attended a We Care Night as a finale for children and their families.

Federal and state fund cuts forced the closing of the youth phase in March 1976.  In the mid-1980s the adult unit also closed. However in the mid-1990s, a similar program called the Family Nutrition Program (FNP) was re-introduced in the county when Judith Licko was hired as the first FNP Assistant to teach free nutrition classes to young families. Lisa McPherson was hired in 2012 when Licko retired.  

People and events of note

A walnut gavel carved by Frank Hedges, Huron Township, became a symbol of peace and unity for youth leaders in the Western Hemisphere when he carved a gavel at the request of Ted Hutchcroft. The gavel, shaped from walnut grown on the Hedges’ farm, bore the cloverleaf symbol of 4-H. The Mediapolis New Era reported that the gavel “hewn and carved from Iowa walnut…will be used to open the 1970 Inter-American Rural Youth Leaders Conference in Argentina.”  

Linda Rauhaus, former member of the Huron Peppy Pals 4-H Club, was selected as one of six Iowa delegates for the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) Program and served in Mexico in 1972. Cecil Krekel was selected as one of four state of Iowa 4-H Alumni winners for 1974.  

The Burlington Harvesters 4-H Club celebrated its 50th anniversary March 1978. Iowa’s State 4-H Leader, C.J. Gauger (a former Vo-Ag teacher at Mediapolis) attended the celebration mentioning only about 12 clubs in Iowa at that time were eligible for the 50th year citation.

The 10th anniversary of federal Expanded Nutrition Program (ENP) was commemorated in May 1979 with an open house for current and former ENP staff and clients as well as the public. Burlington Mayor Tom Diewold and ISU State Extension staff members CJ Gauger and Betty Elliott from Ames participated in the ceremony.  



Difficulty recruiting members  

By 1980 membership had dropped to 422. Extension 4-H & Youth Leader Schoffelman expressed frustration in efforts to expand 4-H because of people’s busy schedules. He noted that two family incomes and mothers working outside of the home had an effect on family time. With the farm crisis of the 1980s more women worked outside the home and had less time to volunteer. He also wrote “…instant recognition of athletic games seems to be more appealing to parents than the educational advantages of 4-H.”   

Some of the changes in the program during the 1980s reflected those of a changing society.  In the late 1980s, affirmative action efforts meant clubs were asked to change club names if the name implied one gender such as ‘Lassies’ or ‘Maids’. There was an emphasis on personal development through 4-H and making all projects open to all members. Boys became more involved in home economics projects at the fair.

As the farm crisis affected more 4-H families, it was suggested that 4-H projects be modified to cost less and a 4-H money management project was added.  Clubs were encouraged to have more service type fund raising instead of drives that involved cost input.      

Youth involved in 4-H developed skills in communication that served them well in their adult lives. Interest in communication presentations at the county fair increased to 55 presentations given in one year.  “…Being able to express one’s self on their feet is a skill most people desire.  4-H members who take part in the Communications Division have a head start in this skill,” reported Schoffelman.



4-H activities continue despite Extension Staff reorganization in the state

The 4-H program underwent administrative changes in the 1990s that led to a different way of reaching members and volunteers. Instead of a 4-H & Youth Leader serving one county, a 4-H & Youth Field Specialist served several counties and assisted county program staff in bringing training for leaders, members and committees. Along with countywide activities such as livestock grooming workshops and science day camps, more events such as camps and trips were offered on a multi-county and regional basis.

Janet Fitzgibbon was hired as county program assistant in 1993 to assist with 4-H programs. Even with staff changes and extension reorganization, 4-H activities continued through the many hours spent by dedicated volunteers and 4-H members and families. Day camps, county fair, awards night, and workshops continued year by year.

For several years, Farm Safety Day Camps, open to 4-H members and other interested youth, and a Fishing Camp were held. A 4-H Photography Traveling Display of outstanding photos was hosted in various locations throughout the county.  The Clover Kids clubs were formed during the 1990s to allow younger children to take part in 4-H activities appropriate for their age group.  

Unity H 4-H club celebrated 30 years as a club. Mary Laue organized the club in 1961 and served all 30 years as leader.

The Friends of 4-H fund receives donations through an annual fund drive. Money from this fund was used to defray the costs of trips and camps by providing scholarships for 4-H members. In 2014, the Friends of 4-H fund was replaced with the Des Moines County Endowment fund.

Year 2000 and beyond


The decade and a half from 2000 to 2014 included two major changes that were unprecedented - the ending of the County Extension Director position in October 2009 and the location of the county extension office outside of Burlington in November 2011. Both decisions were based on funding and affected 4-H programs in various ways

With less support from federal, state and county funds, more grant money was sought for programs for youth and adult Extension education.

Grant funds for youth outreach

Special funding and grants provided outreach education in various program areas to youth.  Science education in the schools was carried out by county-employed staff beginning in 1995. Most recently, Rhonda Coffey Mueller regularly taught science lessons in classrooms throughout the county, reaching several thousand students each year. She also taught summer science day camps for many summers through 2012.  

The Iowa Association of County Extension Councils (IACEC) was formed statewide and sponsored various awards. In 2001 the award for an outstanding program was awarded to Des Moines County Extension Council for their youth science and technology outreach efforts.

Federal and state funding provided for nutrition education in elementary classrooms through the state-wide Pick a Better Snack program from 2005 until June 2012. Through the years, nutrition program assistants, including Melissa Lenz, Tonya Strunk, Shannon Dunn, and Michelle Crandall, reached hundreds of elementary students each year with nutrition and physical activity lessons.

Youth enrollment

In 2000, there were 22 4-H community clubs and four Clover Kids (pre-4-H) clubs. By the end of 2014 there were 15 4-H clubs and three Clover Kids clubs with total membership of over 300. Reflecting a more urban youth membership, special interest projects and clubs included welding, fishing quilting and gardening clubs. Safety and Education in Shooting Sports was a new club formed in 2011 to teach basic shooting fundamentals to interested 4-H members guided by as many as 14 adult volunteers.

Newer requirements have included filing an ethics form, paying a 4-H membership fee, and screening of volunteers. Greater use of technology has helped with quicker communication. Newsletters can be sent via email, short messages can be texted via cell phones and 4-H enrollment is now online.

Strong tradition of service

The 4-H program continues to thrive in Des Moines County for many reasons. 4-H club members have always had a strong tradition of community service. Every year clubs developed new ways to reach out and help those who are in need in various ways. This not only provides a direct service but also instills a sense of commitment to their community.

Research-based information continues to be the foundation of Extension education. Des Moines County enjoys a strong commitment from many volunteers to make the 4-H program successful. Long-term club leaders often stay involved long after their own children have graduated or they serve on some of the many committees it takes to run the program. Former members comment that the skills they learned in 4-H served them well as they applied for jobs and advanced in their careers.


Annual Reports of the Cooperative Extension Service, Des Moines County from 1914-1992.

4-H Historian’s scrapbooks from the 1940s through 1980s.

Original 4-H History report written by Janet Fitzgibbon, former 4-H Program Assistant, 2008.

2014 newspaper articles chronicling the 100 Years of Des Moines County Extension written by Patricia Steiner, former 4-H member and Des Moines County and ISU Extension staff member from 1971 to present.

Updated June 2017.





Iowa County, 4-H History

Posted on 12/18/2017 at 9:18 AM

In the Beginning…  Iowa County 4-H

4-H officially started in Iowa County in 1918 when D. H. Zentmire was hired as the County Agent.  He started the boy’s commodity club work.  The change to community club took place in 1929.  Girl’s 4-H has always been on the community basis. 

In April of 1928, County Superintendent of Schools, G.A. Yoakum, served as leader for 10 young people enrolled in the market pig club.  In October of the same year, Parnell Consolidated School Superintendent enrolled twenty-five boys in the market beef club.  The severe influenza epidemic that fall so devastated the list of enrollees that only seven boys finished eight calves in 1919.

1925 brought about the organization of a clothing club, purebred sow & liter club, and a baby beef club.  Then in 1928 a corn club and a sheep club were formed.

In those early years and continuing until 1955, the whole Extension education program was under the sponsorship of the Farm Bureau.  Indicating the Farm Bureau’s approval of 4-H club work is this excerpt from the Farm Bureau’s secretary’s report of March 31, 1919, “The county agent has been authorized to include in the activities of the Bureau an amount of club work along crops and livestock lines with boys and girls in the county.  This was handled by the county superintendent of schools previous to his removal from the county.”

Girl’s clubs, always on the community basis, acquired definite form before the boys did.  In 1924 six girls’ clubs were organized.  In parenthesis are the number of members in the original clubs.  Clubs are Hilton Willing Workers (15), English Girls 4-H (16), Lenox Girls 4-H (10), Sumner Girls 4-H (14), Pilot Girls 4-H (13), Troy Girls 4-H (18).  Out of this list and also among clubs subsequently organized, Hilton Willing Workers is the only one that has continued through 78 year (1924-2002), without a change of name or any suspension of program.

In 1929 boy’s clubs were formed on the community basis with the exception of the Millersburg Community 4-H Clubs.  Others with specific names were Dayton Boosters, English Hustlers, Fillmore Wide Awakes, Hilton Go-Getters, Sumner Boosters, and York Center 4-H. 

1955 marked the separation between Farm Bureau and Extension.  Since then the 4-H clubs have been under the sole direction of Iowa County Extension.

In 1958 D.H. Zentmire retired after 40 years as county director and in 1959 the first Zentmire Superior Achievement Award was given to Karen Stanerson and Don Sherman.  Each year since then the award to two deserving 4-H’ers.

Iowa County now has 16 chartered 4-H clubs, 297 members and 41 leaders.  These dedicated leaders, along with the hundreds of other volunteers, are what make 4-H in Iowa County “The Best It Can Be!”






Greene County, Iowa 4-H History

Posted on 10/06/2017 at 10:54 AM

In 1914 girls’ club work began with a few scattered clubs that had canning. It was not until 1920 that garment clubs were organized. Prizes were awarded for the best garments. The first plan of club work was to teach better practices. It was not until later that the broader idea of service through training the girl for leadership and the giving of demonstrations was developed.

A boy’s acre corn contest with over one hundred members was also carried out in 1914. Boys’ club work in Greene County was started about 1920. This was in the form of livestock work for the boys. No baby beef club work was carried on in Greene County until 1923.

In 1920 the boys and girls had clubs for corn, beef, pig, sheep, poultry, garden, bee, canning, and orchard spraying and pruning. Students from the horticulture department pruned 23 orchards. The Greene County judging team won at the Four-County-Fair at Coon Rapids.

1923 was the first year for girls garment clubs. There were five clubs with 70 members. Two members won a trip to the Ames Short Course by winning a demonstration contest at the county fair, and two won trips to Chicago.

The county club committee had charge of the club work as early as 1923. Miss Josephine Arnquist, State 4-H Girl’s Leader, met with local club leaders who then organized clubs in their communities. Four training schools were held for club leaders during the summer.

In August, a club Rally Day was held in Grand Junction at which Miss Arnquist and Miss Beulay Rogers, one of the members of the Iowa Canning Demonstration team who toured France in 1924, spoke.

From 1922 to 1925 4-H girls in the county took clothing work because of the wide-spread interest in the home project clothing course. Home furnishing was first taken in 1925 and the Home Furnishing clubs were known as “Own Your Own Room” clubs. This was continued in 1926, followed in 1927 with a canning club, and with a bread club in 1928.

In 1925 244 boys and girls were enrolled in the various clubs. This was a ten percent increase over the previous year. Seven different clubs were conducted during 1924-1925. There were: Baby Beef, Dairy Calf, Sow and Litter, Market Pig, Litter, Purebred Gilt, and Home Furnishing. It was interesting to note the influence the various clubs have had upon the different parts of the community.

J.H. Hilton was the Greene County Extension Agent from 1924 – 1926.

The baby beef club had a wide influence in the county, in fact, a good number of the parents and neighbors of the club members have adopted some of the feeding methods used by the boys in feeding their baby beef calves. It has also brought about a keen rivalry between the different communities. The same can be said of the dairy calf and the pig club work.

In the baby beef club, 26 boys and girls were enrolled at the beginning of the feeding year, which was November 1924. Three boys did not secure calves, and three dropped out of the club soon after the first of January. Eighteen boys and two girls finished the work. The calves were one hundred per cent better than those fed the year before, and the members did a far superior job of feeding than was done the previous year. Three breeds, Herefords, Shorthorns, and Angus, were represented in the club. The Herefords led with ten head, Angus was second with six head, and Shorthorns had four head.

In 1925 Leona Mae Paup of Churdan had the Grand Champion beef. This calf weighed 570 pounds when it started on feed November 15th, 1924, and weighed 1210 pounds when it was shown on September 20th, 1925. This was an outstanding job of feeding. The calf was shown at the International Livestock Exposition at Chicago this year and placed third. The standings of the other boys in the senior Hereford class were: Forrest McDonald of Hardin township, second, Clifford Simkins of Grant township, third, Earl Day of Franklin township, fourth, and Charles Fields of Paton township, fifth.

Katherine Ayers showed the champion Angus and Florence Youngblood was in the Purebred Gilt Club.

4-H club work had influenced the county’s livestock feeding methods and farmers began to adopt these practices. An example is illustrated in this quote from the 1925 Farm Bureau records:

“Katherine Ayers was awarded the champion Angus calf. This calf was selected from her father’s herd of Angus and was somewhat of an inferior individual at the beginning, but she did such a good job of feeding that by fair time, many of the faults of the calf had been covered up and she deserved to win where she did. I know of no other club member whose influence has been more effective in her own home and community, as the influence of this little girl. Her father is a breeder of Angus cattle and up until this year he had disposed of his calves to his neighbors as soon as they were weaned from the cows. By feeding one of these calves, Katherine was able to show him the folly of selling his calves each year; so this year, and he says all other years, he intends to feed his calves himself. Also some of the neighbors adopted some of the methods used by Katherine in her feeding operations this past year.”

At the Greene County Fair all clubs in the county had exhibits. It was soon felt by the county club committee that health was an important problem and by 1927 a county health contest was sponsored. Zetta Rittgers was the health champion and represented Greene County at the State Fair.

Grain judging contests were held in 1929. Greene County received 1st place at the State Fair with Harold Harton getting a perfect score. That was the first time that had ever been accomplished and he won scholarships of $100 and $125.

By 1930 the 4-H girls had a county-wide Music Memory Contest in which 150 girls competed. The work done by 4-H members was stimulating community interest, but it was becoming difficult to get young people in clubs because of the expense of getting started. It was decided that money should be given to, and used for 4-H. Not only were young people learning valuable essentials in home making and agriculture, but were rapidly developing into community leaders. The necessity for leadership was unquestionably the greatest need existing at the time.

A new 4-H colt club was started in 1931. The 4-H uniform included a sailor collar with a bow. It was decided that 4-Hers must keep records and enter record contests. In 1932 came the first opportunity for Greene County 4-H girls to attend camp, which was held at the YMCA Camp northwest of Boone. The 4-H boys had already been attending a camp at Mineral Springs, five miles south of Rippey.

In 1933 Greene County sent 67 4-H girls to the Girls’ 4-H Club Convention, which was the largest delegation. Ruth Hastings was elected State Historian. That year Vivian Radebaugh of Greene County won a trip to Washington DC offered by the Des Moines Register and Tribune for “Best 4-H Club Record” in the state. The crops judging team of Dee Berry, Carl Hebner, and Royal Holz won 1st in the state, with the first ever perfect score.

1929 Style Show winners at the Greene County Fair.

In 1934, for the second year in a row, a girl from Greene County, Ruth Hastings, received a trip to Washington DC from the Des Moines Register and Tribune for the “Best 4-H Club Record” in the state.

The Greene County grain judging team of Royal and Russell Holz, Haven France, Buford McClurg, won the championship at the Iowa State Fair, and then went to the International Contest in Chicago to receive 3rd.

The 1935 the Greene County championship basketball team played at the District in Fort Dodge and won at the State Tournament in Waterloo. The grain judging team of Royal and Russell Holz, and Marshal Norman again won the State Championship at the Iowa State Fair.

In 1936 the “4-H Better Groomed Girl” Contest and the Style Revue Contest was held at the club level, and at the county fair. At this time it was determined that 4-H work had a definite relationship to the community through the development of leadership and the spirit of service through increased scientific information. 4-H members were better able to help in solving communication problems. A deepened sense of responsibility gained through demonstration work and cooperation in the club was carried over to community life. 4-H club work had dignified rural homemaking.

Of all of the problems 4-H had, that of securing leadership for clubs was foremost. At first women were timid about assuming leadership; and then leaders were so much in demand in other groups and organizations that it was difficult to always secure them as club leaders.

Among problems facing Extension in the county from the standpoint of 4-H club programs were the following: the need for reaching and developing younger women as leaders, for meeting the needs of the girls who were interested in the educational work, for reaching girls who most need help, for reaching more girls of club age, and holding the interest of 4-H girls so that a transfer into a rural youth group or adult Farm Bureau could be made.

Russell Holz was chosen Iowa’s outstanding 4-H club boy in the 1937 Des Moines Register and Tribune’s contest, and represented Iowa at the National 4-H Club camp at Washington DC. He was chosen outstanding boy in the United States, exhibiting in the Junior Feeding Contest, and he received a $300 scholarship to use at Iowa State College. Robert Clause and Mary Hawley represented Greene County at the1937 National Club Congress on the Iowa State Poultry Judging Team. Robert was 3rd and received a trip to the International Club Congress as a member of the state team.

Again the value of 4-H club work was addressed noting that 4-H work has enriched the lives of girls living in the county by dignifying farm homemaking, developing homemaking skills, training for self-confidence, poise, balance, leadership, communication, responsibilities, true sportsmanship, and social culture.

In 1937 and 1938 the 4-H slogan was “Every 4-H club have girls in uniforms”. The Greene County Livestock Judging Team was named champion at the Iowa State Fair, and then went to the National Contest at Chicago and won, and then on to the American Royal Show in Kansas City. They also attended the National 4-H Congress and Chicago International Livestock Show.

In grain judging at the 1938 Iowa State Fair Robert Clause was the high man receiving a $50 scholarship to Iowa State College. There were also poultry, carcass, dairy, and horse judging teams participating there. Robert Clause was interviewed by Herb Plambeck on the WHO radio station about his 4-H poultry club work.

At this time, the 4-H Club Committee questioned whether girls should be allowed in the livestock program. Their unanimous finding was, “girls enrolled in 4-H livestock projects are required to feed and care for their project and be accompanied at all activities including local club meetings, tours, and local and state fairs by at least one of their parents or other adult member of the family.”

In 1939 the 4-H Committee noted that “Good publicity is one of the best means of adding to the prestige of club work in the county, and of spreading information concerning the work so that more rural girls may enter the organization.” Genevieve Eklberg of the Paton Hustlers has appeared twice on radio programs; once on WHO in Des Moines on the Corn Belt Hour, broadcasting on her conservation activities; and once on the Saturday 4-H club program on WOI at Ames, broadcasting on her home beautification activities.

It was also recognized that former 4-H girls were assuming responsibilities in their communities as leaders in 4-H club work and home project work. Club girls were becoming the leaders in farm organization activities and were helping to promote improved standards of rural living.

In 1940 the goals for the food preservation project were specifically laid out. Each girl was to preserve at least the following items: 4 jars of meat of 2 kinds, 8 jars of vegetables of 4 varieties, 6 jars of fruit of 3 varieties, 2 jars spiced fruits of 2 varieties, 4 containers of jams or butters, 1 jar dried products, and 2 jars of soup. Then there were specifications on nutrients and food plans, plus those for personal activities and club work, including personal expense accounts and other record keeping.

Continuing the good publicity for 4-H, Elisabeth Clause was on Radio Station KVFD at Fort Dodge discussing methods of food preservation.

In 1941, and for several years, the county 4-H slogan was, “Every 4-H girl to complete her project.” Again specific goals were outlined to guide the girls in their nutrition project. They included: baking 8 quick breads, 2 whole cereal yeast breads, 2 white loaf breads, 2 variations of yeast breads, 2 butter cakes, 8 cookies – 2 each of drop, rolled, spread, and ice box, and 10 milk dishes plus goals for the vegetable garden, health exams, learning of songs, keeping a longtime record memory book, and 100 % attendance at club meetings.

In 1942 the girl’s 4-H program was geared to meet the changing situations, needs, and problems of youth in wartime. The major project, “Nutrition for Defense,” emphasized the basic principles of good nutrition. In a Stamp and Bond Program each club sold corsages to get war bonds, and reports were made to the State War Stamp and Bond Chairman monthly. Greene County’s Elisabeth Clause was elected secretary-treasurer of the state girls’ club organization at the State 4-H Convention held at Iowa State College. Mary Carmel Tiffany acted as her campaign manager. 

In 1943 the county rural youth group faced the problem of losing many of their members to the armed service and to jobs taking them outside of the county, as well as the members remaining having more responsibilities and more work to do. This affected the attendance of their meetings. It was decided in November that boys clubs would discontinue holding meetings until after the war. They thought that would be better than letting the organization die by lack

of interest. The Greene County Fair Board decided not to hold a 1943 fair, but after discussion with other organizations, decided to have a 2-day fair.

In girls’ club work, there was a reduction in the average number of meetings held per club during the year, due to scarcity of gas and tires. In the Food-For-Victory Program 115 girls made a contribution to the food production program by helping to grow, preserve, and store food for home use, and helping to relieve the farm labor shortage.

In a war campaign, Stamp and Bond Drives, “Outfit the 4-H Outfit,” was the slogan for the girls in the county. They were trying to pay for outfits worn by former 4-H members now in the armed services. In the 4-H Ambulance Fund, $13.55 was contributed by 4-H clubs to the National 4-H ambulance fund. The Salvage Campaign reported 77 girls collecting scrap paper and waste fat. And for the Red Cross ten clubs contributed to the collection of material for scrapbooks for convalescent men in the armed services. Five scrapbooks were completed, 20 dozen favors, and fifteen dozen book marks were made according to Red Cross specifications.

The war-related programs were carried on into 1944. Besides the Red Cross, where the 4-H girls cooperated with the Junior Red Cross by making bedside and kit bags, the Cedar Highland Club had two paper drives and donated the money earned from a memorial for Dr. O.C. Lohr. The money was used to purchase equipment for a room in the Greene County Hospital’s new wing. It was decided that all livestock club members must hand in record books by September 1st in order to receive premium money.

In 1945, Lois Jean Youngblood received a certificate for outstanding achievement and a $25.00 war bond for her Long-Time Record. Every active club contributed at least $2.00 toward the

Iowa 4-H girls’ club fund to educate a Chinese woman at Iowa State College who would take 4-H club work to China.

The Greene County 4-H girls led the state in the sale of war bonds in 1946 with a total sale of $87,199.75. The Washington Willing Workers led Greene County with a sale of $27,412.50. In the European Relief Projects 12 clubs sent boxes of clothing to Europe. Many letters of appreciation were received, which resulted in establishing pen pals from Denmark, Greece, Holland, and Norway.

At the 1947 Iowa State Fair Robert Holz had three Shorthorn heifers placing first, second, and third, including grand and reserve grand champion. Roger Clause’s longtime record book won him a trip to the National 4-H Club Congress.

The 4-H organization instituted the health improvement project in cooperation with the health committee of rural women, Greene County Dental and Medical Association, the Health Improvement Association, and the county nurse. Each boy and girl was urged to have a physical and dental check-up. Each club was given $.50 per member from the Health Improvement Association if all members were examined. Five of 27 clubs earned the reward.

There were 14 delegates from Greene County to the Girls’ State 4-H Convention, where Monica Tiffany from Greene County was elected State Historian.

In 1948 A. R. Clause adopted a new system of club competition called a point system for 4-H members. It strived for more club competition rather than competition between club members.

Boy’s 4-H Club Point System

1. Regular monthly meeting – (limit, credit for 12) 10 (ea. meeting)

2. Percentage of members attending meetings 1% = 1 point

3. Percentage of members attending judging work outs 1% = 2 points

4. Percentage of members participating in local club programs


during the year-(talk, demonstration or committee) 1% = 1 point

5. Percentage of members exhibiting at County Achievement Show 1% = 2 points

6. Percentage of members completing projects turning in record books 1 % = 2 points

7. Planned club program for year & copy in the hands of members 50 points

8. Club having demonstration at county fair. 50 points


If two teams, the second will receive 25 points

All over two teams receive for each team 5 points

9. County sports events – club represented at each event 24 points

10. Officers training school (each officer present in 1948) 5 points

11. Leaders attending local club meeting 5 points


Assistant leader attending (limit, credit two) 5 points

12. Leaders at training schools (limit, credit two at ea. school) 10 pts. ea. leader

13. Club having a committee member at one club meeting during the year 50 points

14. Delegate from club to short course at Iowa State College, & district camp 10 pts. ea.

15. Club present program at Farm Bureau or community meeting 25 points


A club must have at least 750 points to be eligible for any award. There were 12 premiums, the first place being $50.00. There was a judging school point system too that seemed to be quite beneficial.

The” Garden Seeds for Europe” was a state-wide project sponsored by the State 4-H club office and Greene County led the way for other counties in the state by being first to turn in their contribution of $321.00; or enough to buy 107 seed packets which would feed 642 for one season from the crops grown.

At the 1948 Iowa State Fair, Rodney Williams showed the champion Angus heifer and Robert Holz showed the champion Shorthorn heifer. Robert Holz took part in the calf scramble sponsored by Armour & Co. and caught a calf that was presented to him in October. He was expected to feed the steer for the 1949 International Livestock Exposition.

On June 1, l949, 230 boys and 7 girls and leaders from Boone and Greene Counties went by train on an Omaha Tour. The girls visited the Furniture Factory, Boys Town, Joselyn’s Memorial, the Union Pacific Museum, and had lunch at Bishops. The boys visited the Swift Packing Plant for a carcass demonstration, the livestock exchange with a trip through the yards, and Boys Town.

In 1950 the Greene County fair had its largest livestock show ever, with 124 baby beeves, 29 purebred beef heifers, 39 dairy cattle, and 70 pens of purebred and market hogs. A talent show was held for the first time in front of the Grandstand. 65 members took part under the supervision of the program director for WHO in Des Moines. Robert Holz had the champion Shorthorn heifer at the State Fair, and he took top honors in the beef heifer showmanship contest.

4-H publicity had been outstanding. Ruth Fielding appeared on TV and the radio. At the State 4-H Convention Jo Ella Shearman from Greene County was selected to read the “Country Girl’s Creed”.

Eighteen girls attended the 1951 Girls’ 4-H Convention in Ames. Patty West was honored by getting to recite the “Country Girl’s Creed.” TV honored 4-H when Jan Jewett appeared on WOI-TV singing, “Dreaming,” during the installation.

The livestock judging team of Bill Lawton, Tommy Fisher, Charles Van Gilder, and Dick Frantz took second place, out of 84 teams at the Iowa State Fair. In its second year of generosity toward 4-H work, the Greene County Farm Youth Foundation sponsored a trip for eight boys to Montgomery County, Tennessee. The trip was set up on a 4-H exchange idea basis. Because of this trip 4-H members had a better idea of the agricultural problems in other parts of the United States. They saw how tobacco, cotton, and rice grew.

At the 1952 Iowa State Fair Gary Williams of Greene County had the Grand Champion Angus heifer, and Ronald Frantz had the champion Hampshire boar. The Greene County 4-H boys and girls decided that the 4-H Achievement Banquet was not the place to hold a county election, so the 1952 county officer’s election was held by mail. Each club was asked to select a candidate, and qualifications were sent to the county office. All of the candidate’s qualifications were mimeographed and sent to clubs with ballots for each member. They were filled out at local club meetings and returned to the county office where they were tabulated.

In 1953, 15 girls attended the Girls’ State 4-H Convention at Iowa State College in Ames. Camille Buckner, of Greene County was selected to give the “Country Girl’s Creed” over WOI-TV. This was the first year the Greene County Youth Foundation sponsored a special award trip to Chicago. Five 4-H members were chosen for this one week trip. Highlights of the trip were: two test kitchens, two museums, the Board of Trade, Marshall Fields, the Planetarium, Aquarium, and zoo, along with many other attractions.

Five boys were selected from 23 to attend a Youth Foundation exchange trip to Pueblo County, Colorado. During their stay at farms and ranches the boys observed irrigation and ranching operations. Due to extreme drought and grass hopper infestations, the boys had the opportunity to see how these problems were handled. Other stops included: Kansas State College (the animal husbandry and agronomy departments), Manford Feed Lots in Greely, Colorado, and W.H.R. Herford Ranch in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Appearing on WOI-TV, Carl Watson told about the Montgomery County, Tennessee exchange trip, Doyle Bielenberg explained the Junior Swine Improvement Program, Bobby and Don Lawton described the Junior Cattle Feeders Program, and Gerald Clause represented the Greene County Youth Foundation and Extension Director. Three other shows in this series included Janice Carson with a piano solo, the Greene County Fair Board President, and two demonstration teams.

At the 1953 State Fair, Dick Wallace from Greene County had the reserve grand champion steer and Larry Barr placed first with his Angus steer. Clarence Meinecke won first place Purebred Hampshire Ram Lamb and first place Hampshire Ewe Lamb. With Larry Meinecke having the 2nd

and 3rd place Purebred Hampshire Ewe Lamb the two brothers made a clean sweep of the 4-H Purebred Hampshire sheep Show.

Because the majority of the 266 girls in 16 clubs, in 1954, were between the ages of 10-13, it was thought that the 4-H program must be geared to the young and their problems and the teaching methods must be readjusted to reach these younger girls. Since Foods and Nutrition was the major theme for the year, 45,000 meals were prepared, 8,800 quarts were canned or preserved, 4,800 quarts were frozen and 8600 pounds were frozen. 215 families reported improved diets.

It was thought that there was not enough music and recreation in the club programs. Few girls learned songs or learned to recognize music by listening to numbers, and few girls learned the folk games in the music program. It seemed more emphasis could be placed on some other phase of 4-H work for them, but as 4-H is to develop the many sides of a girl’s talent, then surely music was important. But 4-H was a wonderful experience for many Greene County families. Skills and new methods were only a part of the learning; being a good officer, working well on a committee, gaining poise and self- confidence by giving talks and demonstrations – these too were a part of the program.

The 1955 State Convention was held in Ames, June 15-18. One member from each club attended. Ruth Fielding was one of three girls from Iowa to be an International Farm Youth Exchange delegate to Denmark. And the director of 4-H work in Manitoba chaperoned a group from Canada to Greene County. They toured the county, and Iowa State College. He was impressed with the 4-H dormitories at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and their method of handling their show. He was also impressed with TV and how it was used in education.

The youth boys’ and girls’ committees were named the Youth Committee by the Extension Council. Some of their reflections in 1956 were that older girls were dropping out and the need for advanced work being designed to interest these girls. Also recreation for boys and girls was a major problem, and all clubs should be afforded recreational training. Objective grading of record books fairly was a major problem and the County Committee and leaders should take an active part in grading them, paying no attention to the names on the books. And finally, the need to enroll all eligible Greene County youth and to carry on an active 4-H program in all clubs in the county by an active publicity program and personal invitation.

In 1957 a Music Festival Day was held in May. For the first time a 4-H Girls’ Chorus was organized to sing at Rally Day. Mrs. James Kearney was the director. The only requirements were to own a uniform and come to 2-3 rehearsals. 50 sang at Rally Day and it was a big success, so the hope was to have it again the next year.

A 4-H Girls’ Dairy Smorgasbord, in cooperation with the June Dairy Promotion committee, was held. Tickets were sold by clubs in advance, having a contest to increase sales. For promotion the girls handed out samples of cottage cheese, cheese dip, and potato chips in nearly all grocery stores in the county. Donations were received from creameries in the area. The girls served 750 people, and cleared approximately $300.00, making it a great success.

A new system was used for judging the 190 4-H record books that were turned in. One person judged all of the books, to be more uniform, and the reaction was favorable.

Eight boys and six girls were awarded the Youth Foundation Trip on the basis of their over-all 4-H club record, as well as other community activities. The boys visited several ranches in

Nebraska, Randall Dam and the Corn Palace in South Dakota, plus the Hereford Ranch and County Fair near Sioux Falls. The girls were driven to Chicago to see Midway Airport, the Cinerama, Marshall Field and Company, the Aquarium, the Museum of Natural History, Soldiers Field and more. The trip was sponsored by 36 businesses. Each group was given $300.00.

“Prevention of Marketing Losses,” an area of animal husbandry, was an emphasis in 1958. 135 boys toured Omaha, the packing plants, and Boys Town. The 4-H’ers paid their own $365 expenses. A recommendation from the county committee to 4-H leaders stressed that 4-‘ers turn in record books, not scrapbooks.

A herdsmanship award was added at the county fair. For a monetary prize clubs were scored on keeping the barns and exhibit areas neat, clean, and well cared for. Judges looked for evidence of: teamwork, education, interest, and creativity.

The County 4-H Spring Fling was the first annual 4-H skating and dancing party that was held at Spring Lake. Over 700 attended. 13 and under 4-H’ers attended first; then at 9:30 the party shifted to dancing for the teens 14 and over. This was the largest crowd ever on record at the roller rink.

The Youth Foundation Award Trip was awarded to eight boys selected for their outstanding long-time record in 4-H work. The boys went for a six-day camping trip through Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, using a Shearman’s camping trailer and preparing their own meals.

The Greene County 4-H livestock judging team won first place in the state 4-H livestock judging contest at the Iowa State Fair. The boys then represented the county at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago. Members of the team were: Bob Kidney, 16, Ron McClurg, 16, Jim Scheuermann, 18, and LeRoy Wessling, 17.

In 1959 there were 1100 exhibits at the county fair. This was the first year exhibits were placed by club and not class for more caring of the exhibits.

The special activity for the 4-H boys was “Wildlife Conservation.” 150 boys planted shrubs and evergreens (35,000) in 13 wildlife areas. There were some joint boy-girl activities held this year, including officer training school and a recreation and music training.

The 1960 Junior Livestock Show at the Greene County Fair, August 7-11, was the largest and most successful one yet. Exhibited were: 156 baby beeves, 40 heifers, 7 cow-calf pairs, 104 hogs, 156 sheep, 22ponies, 2 poultry, and 11 pens of five beef.

The special activity for the year for the boys was a 4-H tractor program, because every boy works with a tractor and needs to know proper care and maintenance. Along with the 4-H Tractor Activity and with the Oliver dealer in Jefferson, 55 boys visited the Oliver Corporation in Charles City. On the way they stopped at the Eldora Training School for Boys. Then an agriculture engineer from Iowa State University conducted a county-wide workshop on tractor safety in Churdan. 200 boys and their dads attended.

The Greene County Farm Youth Foundation reorganized and new standards were written for the boys award trips. They were to attend . of their club meetings, complete 3 years of club work, participate in 3 county, or 2 state judging contests, give a county demonstration, and reach age 16. Eight boys were eligible to go to Washington DC for a 4 . day citizenship seminar. They visited the capitol, White House, FBI, Treasury, USDA, Smithsonian Institute, Arlington Cemetery, Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and Mount Vernon.

The girls’ educational trip was to Minneapolis again. The girls were given $15 to buy material for a dress for the Home Economist. They needed to choose the material and a pattern. The $800 trip cost was provided by money from the Dairy Smorgasbord and the Greene County Fair stand.

In 1961 the county had 604 girls and boys in twenty-two 4-H clubs with thirty leaders. This was the first year demonstrations were chosen to go to not only the state fair, but also the Clay County Fair in Spencer. In the past, the citizenship short course to the National 4-H Club Center was attended by 4-H boys. The trip had been so successful the girls were contemplating making the trip with the boys the next year. The standards were to be the same as the boys.

At the Iowa State Fair Jack Lorenzen had the 1st place Angus Baby Beef, and Steve Smith had the Reserve Grand Champion market lamb. Ann Luther received 1st and 3rd places with her Hampshire ram lamb.

An honor club was established in 1962, to keep older 4-H members interested in club work during their high school years. Boys and girls 15 . years and older were interviewed and 29 were asked as members. The group selected a service project and a leadership one. Then they wrote a constitution to state the purpose and clearly state the requirements for membership.

Of the 2,500 youth of 4-H age in Greene County in 1963, 23 % or 585 girls and boys were in 4-H. The County Committee looked at trends in 4-H agriculture projects since 1960.Their findings were that beef members, market and purebred swine litters, and garden, woodworking, electric, and entomology had increased. The horse and pony members had sharply increased, but dairy and market and purebred sheep decreased.

At the State 4-H Conference Ann Schilling was elected State Historian and received National honors, accepting a trip to the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago because of her leadership activities. In April she was chosen to attend the National 4-H Conference at the National 4-H Center in Washington DC, along with a scholarship.

Several projects completed by 4-H members raised $1000 to send Joan Allen, a well-known 4-H leader, to England to the bedside of her ill mother. She also received luggage, movies of her family, and tape-recorded voices of her four children so that her parents could see and hear them.

In 1964, to encourage 4-H members to broaden their interests, the county took fifteen 4-H’ers in a County Exchange program with Alpena County, Michigan. They lived in the homes of 4-H’ers there.

This year’s Rally Night, in April, was the first joint girls and boys one. After the election of officers the joint installation was held. Clothing was the project for the year. 1034 clothing exhibits came to the county fair. It was decided there was not enough time for judging the exhibits, so either they need to be limited, or arrangements needed to be made for more judging time.

This year saw the first 4-H Softball Tournament at Hyde Park north of Scranton. All clubs in the county took part and lived up to the 4-H motto, “Winning without bragging and losing without squealing.”

At the Greene County Fair in 1965 the 4-H youth were no longer able to burn refuse, so each boy was charged a $ .10 fee for disposal. As foods was the major project for the year, several community service projects included tray favors, bibs, entertainment, and caroling for the County Home and hospital, in Jefferson and Woodward, and Veterans Hospital in Des Moines were undertaken.

In 1966 Home Improvement was the major project for the year. The Foods and Nutrition and Clothing projects were carried too, but due to space only Home Improvement exhibits came to the fair. There were 810 articles. The Citizenship Washington DC Trip, that took place in August, had 36 members attending.

1967 was the only year the Greene County 4-H trip did not go to Washington DC. 22 4-H members went to Denver in July to study economic and social problems of Iowa and Colorado.

The Greene County Fair was held later this year, in August, instead of July. Jane Terrill showed the grand champion beef which her father had done 25 years earlier.

In the IFYE (International 4-H Youth Exchange) program in 1968, Chitra Manohar Oka from India stayed with the Robert Minnehan family. Ann Schilling brought home some crafts from her 6-month stay in Greece. She was one of six attending from Iowa.

Mary Zahner was named the 1969 Iowa winner of the National 4-H Safety Program by a representative of General Motors, and Miss American 1970, at the National 4-H Congress in Chicago. As a community service project the 4-H county officers presented $50 to the County Home as a donation for recreation equipment. The money was raised through a box social held during the boys’ county softball tournament.

Mrs. Dennis McGregor was selected to receive one of four 4-H Alumni Awards in Iowa. It was presented at the 1969 4-H State Conference in Ames. She was an 11 year member, on a state fair demonstration team, worked three years as a district camp recreation director, was county 4-H vice-president, and for three years was a leader-member in her local 4-H club. She was a state 4-H girls’ historian, was one of the Iowa delegates to Camp Miniwanca, and was an exchange candidate for the International Farm Youth Exchange.

The name of 4-H demonstrations was changed to presentations, to allow more freedom for youth to use their own creativity and ideas when they presented. The senior 4-H members held three meetings on world hunger problems this year, and discussed the problems of Yucatan in particular.

Joanne Hunter was named the 1970 Iowa winner in the 4-H Home Management program. She was one of 27 Iowa delegates to the 1970 National 4-H Congress in Chicago. Sylvia Hoyle of Greene County sang “I Hear America Singing” as part of the entertainment.

Stan Curtis showed the top gilt at the Iowa State Fair. It was out of a purebred Poland China Boar and an off-belt Hampshire sow from the Curtis breeding herds. He also showed the top Poland China March gilt and the top purebred pen of Poland Chinas.

The livestock judging team of Charles and Howard Holz, Randy Hedges, and Randy Cooklin placed 2nd out of 65 teams at the Iowa State Fair. A new event in Greene County this year was the girls’ softball tournament held at Cooper.

During National 4-H Week in 1970, a major effort was made to inform all youth about the 4-H program. Because of this a new town boys’ club was formed, the 4-Leaf Friends. Model rocketry was initiated with two college boys conducting project meetings. With the encouragement of Mike Minnehan, used photography processing equipment was purchased so that 4-H’ers could develop, print, and enlarge their own pictures. Also because of this club, a county-wide entomology project meeting was held.

1970 saw a new home for the Greene County Extension Office. It was now a part of four agricultural agencies in a new building on North Highway 4, in Jefferson.

For many years the county 4-H’ers were led by the Greene County boys’ and girls’ officers. In 1971 ten members were elected to serve on a council that would give leadership to the many 4-H programs during the year. The Greene County Boys’ and Girls’ Softball Tournaments continued, but a new project was the concession stand at the stock car races, which was done five times during the summer.

Ed Fitzpatrick was selected as Fort Dodge area council representative during the state 4-H Conference. The Greene County Dress Revue was held at the Methodist Church in Jefferson with 59 girls attending. They were judged on grooming, posture, poise, appropriateness for occasion, becomingness in color, texture, design, fit, accessories, and construction of the garment.

The Ames Hospital honored the 4-H members of Greene County, as well as eight others that collected 150,000 Betty Crocker coupon points for additional equipment for the unit. The first ever alumni picnic for county officers back to 1961 was organized by Terry Rich.

In 1972 there were 374 girls and 251 boys enrolled in 29 clubs in Greene County with 48 leaders. This appears to be the largest enrollment recorded in the county’s history. Educational presentation day was moved from the traditional summer date to March 31, and the number of presentations went from 35 to 100.

The photography project was becoming increasingly popular. Project meetings were held six times a year. A project leader and professional photographers did the teaching to 30 – 50 members per meeting.

The livestock judging program increased markedly under the leadership of experienced judging coach, Bill Fulcher. After many workouts Greene County received 4th at the State Fair. Members were: Tim Collogan, Tom Custer, Mark Young and Craig Lawton. Then they took second against 40 teams at the Little International Livestock Judging Contest. And at the National Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota, Craig Lawton, Dan Tronchetti, Kurt Lawton, and Steve Peterson placed first among 4-H teams, and 11th overall in competition with 250 4-H and FFA teams.

At the Greene County Fair the Extension aide organized a talent show. All clubs had the opportunity to display the creative ability of their members. The response was so great plans were made to continue it in the future.

An article appeared in the National 4-H News Magazine that was written by Terry Rich when he served as extension aide in the Greene County office. The article referred to the mini-station Terry organized and used for broadcasting at the county fair. The radio station was operated by 4-H members under Terry’s supervision. The National 4-H News Magazine was distributed to Extension offices and 4-H leaders nation-wide. In response to Terry’s article the Greene County Extension office received requests from Illinois, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, Louisiana, Michigan, Virginia, with three requests from Ohio for detailed information on how to set up such a radio station.

With the livestock judging program still increasing, in 1973, the team of Stan Curtis, Dan Tronchetti, Doug Hawn, and Joy Clause took first at the Iowa State Fair. They also did well at the National Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota, and the Iowa State Little International in Ames. The team of Kurt Lawton, Jeff Sandage, Mike Holden, and Dan Tronchetti placed first at the annual Iowa Duroc Breeders’ Association show at Marshalltown.

Dan Tronchetti was named the Iowa winner in the 4-H Swine Program. He was one of 29 Iowa delegates to the 1973 National 4-H Congress in Chicago. He was also the champion showman at the Iowa State Fair. “Profitable swine production requires proper management techniques, including careful attention to health and feeding”, said Tronchetti. He was one of six national winners in the 4-H swine program. He received a $700 scholarship which was presented at the National 4-H Congress in Chicago, following a review of his records and a personal interview.

In 1974 the first Greene County Fair parade was held on Wednesday evening before the fair. The parade lined up at the fairgrounds and wound around the downtown square. It was followed by free ice cream cones by the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce back at the fairgrounds. Hugh Gannon showed the Grand Champion steer at the fair, which had a daily gain of 3.18 pounds per day. McAtee Tire Service purchased the grand champion, a 1215 pound steer, at $70.50 cwt. for a total of $856.58. The greased pig contest was initiated on Friday night of the fair in front of the grandstand.

New at the fair this year was a 9600-square foot all-steel building, located on the site of the former show ring building. The new building featured new aluminum bleachers with a seating capacity of 720, a square 60 x60 showring, four powerful lights above the ring, and 16-foot sidewalls. The cost of the building was $43,765.

Livestock numbers were down due to high feed costs and replacement costs. Small animal projects continued to increase in numbers.

At the 1975 Iowa State Fair, Bill Raney, a 4-Her from Greene County, was one of the two 4-Hers to escort President Ford through the 4-H building. Raney had been the past State Historian. The McGregor family band was asked to perform during the time President Ford was visiting the 4-H building. They had been at the State Fair Saturday playing during the “Share the Fun” program and later received a special request to play their half-hour show while President Ford went through the building. The seven member band, made up of mother and sons and daughters, played soft rock music, not unlike the Carpenters.

Kristi Holz was named a state winner in the 4-H home management program and attended the National 4-H Congress.

The Greene County team of Rob Clause, Kurt Lawton, Jeff Sandage, Tom Lawton, Teela Muir, Craig Lawton, and Doug Hawn placed first out of 54 teams at the 1976 Iowa State Fair. Jeff Sandage was first place individual.

In 1977 the pseudorabies situation changed the order of the county fair sale. Due to the pseudorabies issue the hogs had to all go directly to slaughter following the sale.

A new and challenging 4-H project emerged in the form of commercial beef pen of three exhibits at the 65th Greene County Fair. Beef of any breed or crossbred were eligible for exhibition. The commercial pens were not eligible for halter classes. They were evaluated in two areas, premium money and ribbon placings.

For the third time in the last six years Greene County won the 1978 Iowa State Livestock Judging Contest. The team of Kirk Citurs, Rob Clause, Tom Lawton, Kent Citurs, with coaches Paul Quam and Jeff Sandage were in competition with forty-five other teams. Individuals that were first in the state were: Rob Clause, and Kent and Kirk Citurs.

The Greene County Youth Committee decided to go with conference judging at the Greene County Fair. This meant that the 4-H’er presented their project and discussed it with the judge in order to receive their placing.

Mrs. Larry Johnston founded the Weary Waggers to establish a dog club as part of the Greene County 4-H program. Members guided their dogs through about fourteen weeks of obedience training in preparation for competition at the county and state fairs. This was the second year of its existence.

The Buckaroos served the special interests of those who had horse and pony projects. The club was designed to provide special help for those young persons who had selected horse and ponies for their projects. They were provided with special help that they would not receive in a regular club. The winter meetings were concerned with the care of horses and equipment, and in the spring members brought their horses to the fairgrounds where they learned the fundamentals and sophisticated rigors of show ring etiquette and performance.

In 1979 Temple Grandin, a consultant and designer of livestock handling facilities for feed lots, ranches, packing plants, and auctions was brought to Jefferson to speak on livestock handling.

A new 4-H and FFA dairy goat show was planned for the 1980 Greene County Fair. There was a lot of interest in the new show. Pam Thomsen was the superintendent.

Kevin Hoskins of Greene County showed the grand champion 4-H market lamb at the 1980 Iowa State Fair. To show their appreciation for Kevin’s achievement, the Greene County and Surrounding Area Promoters of 4-H, an ad hoc group, purchased his lamb for $1963.50. That was $16.50 a pound, by far the highest price ever paid for an Iowa State Fair 4-H champion lamb.

Scott Finneseth won the highest national award that could be given to a youth by the Appaloosa Horse Club Inc. Finneseth was one of just two young persons in the nation to receive the National Honor of Merit Award through the Appaloosa Youth Program.

“Your Children Your Promise,” Monica McGregor’s group, presented their program during worship services in the Rippey United Methodist Church. That year the program was changed to relate to the “Year of the Family”. They made appearances in churches all over the state, and in October presented their program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the National Council of Catholic Women. Members were: Monica, Dave, Bridget, Mark, Stuart, and Sheila McGregor, Pat DeMoss, Jeff Derry, Cindy Schirmbeck, Julie Bordenaro, and Cindy Gose.

Gary Hoskin’s lamb was selected Grand Champion 4-H Market lamb at the 1981 Iowa State Fair.

Special emphasis was given to 4-H leader and parent training on special subject areas and on writing goals and objectives for projects. As a result a new form was developed which was to accompany each 4-H project to the fair.

New in 1981 was a free gate at the fair, in order to boost attendance. David Morlan of Greene County swept top honors in the Hampshire division of the 4-H breeding sheep show at the Iowa State Fair. He won first place with his ewe lamb, his yearling ewe and a pair of ewes.

The first annual Leader’s Recognition Dinner was held. Twenty-three business and individuals in Greene County donated over $400, and the Greene County Porkettes and Pork Producers donated their time and the ground pork. The Greene County Council provided entertainment, with over 75 leaders and spouses attending.

Cindy Schirmbeck, of Greene County, earned the 1982 Iowa 4-H Citizenship award. She received a trip to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago. Cyndi Gose, also of Greene County, spent six weeks in Italy through the International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) program. A new club, Scranton-Kendrick, was formed with Ruth Stephenson as organizational leader, and Bob Stephenson as livestock project leader.

In 1983, David Devalois was one of 29 Iowa 4-H’ers with a photograph in the 1983-84 Iowa 4-H Photography Traveling Exhibit. The works by Iowa 4-H’ers ages 12-18 were selected from more than 200 in the photography division at the Iowa State Fair. The exhibit was on display in nine Iowa cities through September sponsored by a grant from Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.

A new producer - 4-H market steer show was organized. The project consisted of a cow-calf producer in Greene County donating a calf to a 4-H member. The calf would then be shown at the fair, sold, and the check from the packer split 50-50 between the 4-H member and the cow-calf producer.

The Franklin Eager Beavers and the Hardin Happy Hustlers 4-H clubs voted to combine into the first co-ed club in the county.

The 1984 junior sheep show was one of the biggest county shows in Iowa. Dana Hamilton of Greene County, as the state 4-H sheep award recipient, participated in the 63rd National 4-H Congress in Chicago, IL. During National 4-H Week Dana was one of the state 4-H Council members with Governor Terry Branstad when he signed a proclamation declaring National 4-H Week.

In 1985 there was a major push to replace sexist club names. One club was even named Mixed Species. The “Youth” 4-H club was organized and led by Monica McGregor and Sheilah Pound. The group was organized into a music, communication, and citizenship 4-H club .The group’s citizenship responsibility was to the children of Africa, since 1985 was declared the International Year of Youth by the United Nations General Assembly, with the theme “Peace and Participation.” Julie Holz was an IFYE representative to Taiwan.

1986 was the 75th anniversary of the Greene County Fair, and despite the reduced livestock numbers in the county, it showed an increase in livestock entries. The Greene County Fair was the only fair in the Des Moines extension area to show an increase, and the quality was good.

Tracy Rowedder showed the top steer in the 1987 Limousin terminal steer show at the Iowa State Fair. “Spot” was judged as the first place winner in both the live judging and carcass contests. The 1320 pound Limousin was reserve grand champion at the Greene County Fair.

Malinda Miller’s photo of her brother and parents was the winner for the 1988 Greene County “Take Pride in Iowa Families,” photo contest, and a statewide finalist. She was invited to a governor’s award ceremony at the state capitol building.

Cleo Duff and Roger Clause were nominated for State 4-H Alumni Awards. Both had many years of involvement in 4-H themselves, as well as leading Greene County clubs.

The 40th birthday of the Iowa 4-H Foundation was celebrated at the 4-H Camping Center with the YOUTH 4-H club performing the music. The Youth 4-H club was one of two clubs from Iowa that donated $400 to the Iowa 4-H Foundation through the 4-H 400 program. The entire club was recognized at the 1989 Iowa 4-H Conference at Iowa State University. Alex McGregor began the club’s donation campaign as a result of attending the 1988 conference and being inspired by the clubs recognized at the time. He began the local campaign through a pop-can poster and the club joined in resulting in $401.55 given to the Iowa Foundation.

At the Iowa 4-H Recognition Banquet, Alex McGregor received the Iowa Citizenship award, and a trip to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago, IL.

A group of 4-H’ers assisted in sowing prairie seed on four acres of land in the John Waters Wildlife area east of Jefferson in a prairie restoration project. They were assisted by Dan Towers of the Greene County Conservation Board. A $1000 youth volunteer award came from an Iowa Conservation Corps grant. The 4-H’ers learned how to burn off pasture, set backfires for control, and clean a bed for prairie grass seed, as well as building four bluebird houses. Those involved were: Alex McGregor, Rod Kuebler, Melodie Murphy, Meshell Palmer, Jackie Coyne, Ken and Tim Hardman, John Green, along with adult coordinators Annette Anderson, Cherie Roquet, Towers, and the 4-H club leader Monica McGregor.

The 4-H’ers who participated in the 4-H Prairie Restoration project during 1988 received a national Group Conservation Award. A grant was received from the Iowa Conservation Corps to cover many expenses. The 4-H’ers developed a table top display, video, and album of the project that was displayed at the 1988 Greene County and Iowa State Fairs.

Gina Hamilton was crowned the 1989-1990 National Suffolk Princess, in Louisville, KY. She had served as the 1989 Iowa Suffolk Queen, and then in the spring she was crowned the Mid-Iowa Lamb and Wool Producers Queen for 1990, after serving as princess. She was a well-informed industry spokesperson. Eighteen members of the Youth 4-H club presented a musical tribute to Galen DeValois at a retirement open house held in his honor.

In 1991 the YOUTH 4-H club presented a Safety program to the annual Greene County Farm Bureau meeting, at Valley West Mall in Des Moines as part of Terry Branstad’s declaration of Iowa’s first Child Health Week. It was also presented to the Agricultural Conference on Safety and Health in Des Moines. Members participating were: Kristi Schwaller, Katie Turpin, Jennifer Costello, Wendy Roberts, Jackie Coyne, Joshua, Kristina, and John Hedges, Rod Kuebler, Meshell Palmer, Alexis Clause, Amanda and Tanner Taylor, Alyssa Friedow, Becky North, Connie Hurley, Eugene and Marie Norgart, Andrew Gettler, John Green, and leader Monica McGregor.

Pizza Hut in Jefferson gave personal pan pizzas to 4-H youth turning in, and having outstanding record books. An ultrasound test was conducted on over 150 head of livestock at the 1992 Greene County Fair, including swine, beef, and sheep. The ultrasound test on the swine determined the placing in the swine production test contest. The beef and sheep ultrasound tests this year were conducted solely for educational purposes.

YOUTH 4-H Life Skills club presented “Concentration on Conservation” in narrative and song as an “infotainment” presentation for Summer on the Square in Jefferson. They also sold samples of Hillary Clinton’s and Barbara Bush’s chocolate chip cookies as a fundraiser.

YOUTH club’s safety presentations were given eleven times to civic organizations, as well as to the United States Surgeon Generals’ Conference in Des Moines. The YOUTH club attended the National Safety Council Conference, youth division, in Orlando, Florida to receive the national runner up award for their efforts in promoting safety awareness for two years in Jefferson and throughout Iowa. Funds for the trip were provided by the Iowa 4-H Foundation, 3M of St. Paul, MN, “Successful Farming Magazine, as well as from much local fundraising by the club members. Those attending the congress included Wendy Roberts, Travis Crouse, Jeanette Reck, Kristina, Joshua, John, and James Hedges, Becky North, Andy Gettler, John Green, and Matt Thompson. The club leaders attending were Monica McGregor and Linda Hedges, with Randy Hedges and Alex McGregor as chaperones.

The delegation joined more than 250 representatives from eighteen states. As part of the event, youth attended sessions conducted by safety specialists on stress, substance abuse, AIDS, farm chemical, water, and motor vehicle safety. With more than 700 exhibitors, the National Safety Congress was the world’s largest display of safety and health products and services in the world.

The Greene Emeralds co-ed 4-H club was organized in 1993 with ten charter members. Monica McGregor, longtime Greene County 4-H leader, received a Jefferson Chamber “bouquet”, noting that “McGregor teaches the young people self-esteem, entertaining, helping others, and interacting with all ages. Volunteers are hard to find for these kinds of programs, and Monica should be an example for all of us.” The YOUTH 4-H club was featured in a “Successful Farming” feature article describing how the award- winning club taught safe farming and living with an entertaining style. National attention was received by the article in Successful Farming and the National 4-H Magazine.

At the conclusion of the YOUTH club’s safety presentations they held a thank you chili supper in appreciation of the support the community gave the club for the Safety Congress trip to Florida. Shirley Stakey, state 4-H and youth program assistant, spoke commending the group for its community efforts. The music and narrative of the “Priorities Review” was a take-off of the Disney World theme, including opening music by the YOUTH 4-H band, a vocal solo by Wendy Roberts, and small-group messages: adults and youth working as partners, agriculture safety, healthy lifestyles, esteem-building, and traffic safety. Vince and Larry (alias Joshua Hedges and John Green), safety belt crash dummies appeared, challenging the audience to “buckle up and live.”

The former County Council was renamed the Young Leaders in 1994. These 4-H members developed leadership and citizenship skills as they served as role models for other 4-H members while assisting with a variety of 4-H events and activities in the county.

The YOUTH club celebrated National 4-H week by completing a two-year citizenship project, a luncheon for “A Collection of Greene County Women.” Greene County women, past and present were recognized for their contributions to the community, both through volunteer work and through service above and beyond their paychecks. Nominations were taken over two years. In 1994, as a Sesquicentennial project, the club invited those still living and descendants of those who were not, to a dessert luncheon. The guests were served by “singing waiters” – members of the YOUTH 4-H Club. A short biography and two recipes collected from each woman were entered into a book, “The Collection of Greene County Women,” which was on sale later. Monica McGregor said that over sixty women were included, which did not purport to be all-inclusive of notable Greene County women.

Greene County 4-H’ers celebrated their first Football Saturday at Iowa State University. They were some of the more than 5,000 green shirts from 92 counties that visited Cyclone Stadium. The morning began with campus tours for 1200 4-H’ers and then they were honored during the pre-game show.

Carly Tiffany of Greene County received the state 4-H achievement award and the home improvement award. She won a $100 bond and a trip to the National 4-H Youth Congress at Orlando, Florida.

Carly also earned the Juergens 4-H Scholarship. During her nine years in 4-H Carly completed 225 exhibits in at least fourteen project areas. She also earned 4-H recognition for her record book in home improvement, child development, bread, and photography.

Iowa and Greene County joined two thirds of the United States in taking a new vision for protecting youth. The Child Protection and Safety Policy took effect September 1, 1995.The procedure included completing an application and authorizing a record check at the Criminal

Investigation and Transportation. There were 200 volunteers in Greene County to go through the process.

The YOUTH 4-H club, with a $500 grant approved by the Greene County Sesquicentennial Commission, wrote and performed a musical dramatization highlighting Iowa history. They provided an overview of Iowa history, contributions Iowans had made to the world, information on Greene county natives that made a significant contribution, and promoted a greater understanding of the music, arts and cultural contributors from Iowa. Youth presented thirty minutes of singing, dancing, speaking, and instrumental presentations. Each member had conducted research learning more about a famous Iowan.

In 1996 Joshua Hedges received the $1000 Schmalenberger 4-H Scholarship which was based on 4-H achievement and record keeping.

The YOUTH 4-H club was invited to present their original program “The Child of Iowa” on the American Republic Insurance Company stage at the Iowa State Fair, which was offering sesquicentennial programming. Five clubs from Greene County were honored at the Iowa State Fair for serving youth in their communities for fifty years or more. Those 4-H clubs recognized were the Paton-Dawson Dolls and Dudes, Cedar Highland and Highlanders, Greenbrier 4-H Club, Greenbrier Go-Getters, and the Hardin Happy Hustlers. Monica McGregor served as the Central Area Coordinator for the 50-Year Recognition and the YOUTH club presided over the presentations.

State Fair volunteers from Greene County that were honored in 1997 for their years of service were: Vernon and Corinne Bancroft (25 years), Roger Clause (25), Bob Clause (30), Wendell Hoskins (25), John G. Hunt (25), Monica McGregor (30), and Dale Thompson (25).

Greene County youth leaders met with Publisher Bruce Hoening of the Globe-Free Press to discuss the new county 4-H newspaper which would be published six times a year. The publication was to bring news of 4-H projects and accomplishments to the county.

In 1998 Scott Walker received the champion beef showmanship award for the 11th and 12th grade division at the Iowa State Fair; and Matt Lautner exhibited the grand champion crossbred market steer. The steer was sold for $17,000.

Jacque Andrew was one of the trustees of the Iowa 4-H Foundation that was elected at the 48th annual meeting at the Iowa 4-H Education and Natural Resources Center near Madrid.

“Guys Can Cook Too” was a new program started by Bill Doubler for those interested in learning about cooking on the grill. Julie Karber and Cheryl Nailor, longtime Food Stand Managers at the Greene County Fair retired.

Lacie Hoyle of Grand Junction exhibited the champion Chianina breeding heifer at the 1999 72nd Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Livestock Exposition in Omaha. Matt Lautner exhibited the reserve champion Division 111 market steer.

Ulla was a 4-H exchange student from Denmark, who arrived in Jefferson in time to attend the 4-H Leadership Conference in Ames. She left Jefferson to spend a month in Albert City and Iowa City, and then three months in North Dakota. In Denmark she came from an island with a population of about 500 people. In Jefferson Ulla stayed with the Craig Hertel family.

Annette Brown, Iowa State University Extension youth development specialist in Greene and Boone county was honored with the Distinguished Service Award that was presented at the National Association of 4-H Agents Conference in Pittsburg, PA.

In February, 2000, the 4-H Young Leaders hosted a Sweetheart Dinner at the Methodist Church. Diners had their choice of roast beef or an Iowa chop, and the ladies received a carnation. The fundraiser profits were used for community service projects.

Stephanie Hertel of Greene County received two outstanding 4-H Food and Nutrition awards at the Iowa State Fair for a party she catered for nine people. Derek Kennedy, also of Greene County exhibited the reserve champion Shorthorn breeding beef at the state fair.

A steer raised by Lance Lawton of Greene County was shown by Iowa Farm Bureau president Ed Wiederstein in the 18th annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair. The steer was purchased for $3,500 by Central Iowa Farm Bureau.

Troy Wahl of Jefferson placed first in the poultry category of Farm Bureau’s cookout at the Iowa State Fair. He had participated in the ”Guys Can Cook Too” class.

Henry Alliger of Paton, was one of the twenty-six 4-H members selected to represent Iowa at the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia. He also received one of two $1000 Schmalenberger 4-H scholarships.

The Iowa Foundation named eleven trustees to serve on the 2000-2001 executive committee to represent the entire 40-member board. Jacque Andrew of Jefferson was named one of those trustees.

Nate Hertel received a state award in the 4-H project area of science and technology, as well as being chosen as one of five central Iowa youth to serve on the 2001-2002 State 4-H Council. Stephanie Hertel received the state 4-H visual arts project award.

John Chargo was selected to serve on the Iowa Youth Technology team from June 2001-2002. He worked to expand the use of computer technology in 4-H activities including the Iowa 4-H Conference, the Iowa State Fair, and the 4-H web pages.

Regina Groves of Rippey and Henry Alliger of Paton joined more than 400 high school students from around the country at the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference in Washington, DC. The scholars were at President George W. Bush’s swearing-in ceremony. Immediately after the ceremony Alliger left Washington to travel to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the 2001 National Congress design team. He was one of seven from across the nation selected to attend the meeting to shape plans for the 2001 National 4-H Congress.

In an effort to encourage young Iowans to follow in the footsteps of Novel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, the World Food Prize Foundation presented a special award to 240 Iowa 4-H members. Three senior-level Greene County 4-H’ers were the recipients of the World Food Prize Iowa 4-H Centennial Award. Randy Christensen, of Scranton, was selected for his premier swine entry. Chance Lautner was selected for his champion Division A steer and grand steer entry. And Kelsey Schoening was selected for her animal testing poster exhibit. They received the award at the World Food Prize award ceremony in Des Moines.

Eight volunteers representing Greene County attended, “Get a Clue”, the North Central Region Volunteer Forum in Des Moines. Those among the 500 volunteers there were: Craig Hertel, Cherie Roquet, Linda Hedges, Susan Hoffman, Shari Minnehan, Cindy Carstens, Peggy Naylor, and Jodi Schreck. Forum volunteers Cheri, Susan, Linda, and Shari worked for two years as the registration committee for the Forum.

Luke Edwards, a 4-H member from Rippey, hosted a barbecue fundraiser to help victims of the September World Trade Center tragedy. It was held at the Rippey Park with a net proceeds of $652.70.

Chance Lautner of Jefferson showed the Grand Champion 4-H market steer at the Iowa State Fair. It sold for a record $30,500. John Chargo, as a member of the Youth Technology Team, helped 4-H members at the state fair create canister rockets. Then his team took pictures of the youth with digital cameras and put them into a computer presentation so the youngsters could see themselves at the Iowa State Fair.

Officials at the 2001 Greene County Fair responded quickly to head off an outbreak of erysipelas, an extremely contagious bacterial infection in swine. The swine show was held as scheduled on Thursday morning; but rather than exhibiting the swine until the close of the fair, the packer took the swine for slaughter early Thursday afternoon.

Sheri Haupert, Peg Raney, and Susan Hoffman shared the duties of the Greene County 4-H food stand at the fair. They devised punch cards that will worked just like cash at the windows.

In 2002 Stephanie Hertel and Jaimee Hoskins of Jefferson were among 38 youth from the Central Iowa Extension area on the annual 4-H Chicago senior award trip.

Luke Edwards , a seventh grader, from Grand Junction, was selected by the Rippey Bank and Rolling Hills Bank and Trust to receive five bred heifers in the bank’s heifer project. In each of five years he would give an accounting to the bank of what he did with the heifers’ offspring.

Randy and Linda Hedges of Greenbrier township, representing Greene County for the first time, were inducted into the 4-H Centennial Hall of Fame at the 4-H Centennial Birthday Bash Sunday at the Iowa State Fair. “The couple works as a team to portray the power of youth and the 4-H program in Greene County”, stated a Greene County Extension news release. “They are active as 4-H club leaders, livestock and exhibit building superintendents, service and group project leaders. Linda also attends the North Central Region Volunteer Forum annually to learn new ideas. Even though their children have graduated and become 4-H alumni, Randy and Linda continue to be very involved.”

The 100th birthday of 4-H was celebrated at the Greene County Fair by learning about 4-H’s history. The 4-H pledge was officially adopted in 1927 as, “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, and my country.” What makes Greene County special is that ‘my world’ wasn’t officially added to the 4-H pledge until 1973, but it became part of the pledge said in Iowa in 1947. Roger Clause of Grand Junction was the Greene County boys’ president then. He proposed on behalf of Greene County 4-H’ers a resolution at the 1947 state boys’ conference to add ‘my world’ to the pledge. Iowa 4-H clubs began using the phrase then, but it wasn’t officially adopted until 1973.

The Greene County Extension and 4-H also celebrated 100 years of 4-H by joining Jefferson’s Bell Tower Parade. Ten floats each depicting a decade in the 1900’s exhibited the changes taking place in Greene County’s 4-H history.

For the100th birthday of 4-H, Alice Walters shared some of her 4-H experiences. She remembered 4-H dating from 1927 before she was old enough to join. When she did she remembers wearing a blue uniform that had a middy blouse and collar with a pleated skirt, which was hot in the summer. When she first joined 4-H girls and boys had separate clubs. The scope of projects has changed; an example being the popularity of photography today. Record books had increased in importance, which reflected well on 4-H, since the importance of good record keeping in adult life, is paramount.

Another aspect of 4-H that was added some time after World War Two was the establishment of the 4-H camp at Madrid. She often supervised camping activities. One night she sent her group of girls to the tent to move their beds away from the edges so they wouldn’t get wet in the storm. When she got there, her bed was right in the middle of the pack, where any of the girls could reach and touch her if the storm got too frightening.

Another time a girl had brought food to her bunk. Later she found a mother mouse with her nest and babies there. As a judge Walters judged a girl’s rolls at the achievement show, again at the county fair, and then again at the state fair. “I had said about all I had to say about those rolls by that time,” Walters recalls.

Brian Sandage showed the “Big Ram” at the 2002 Iowa State Fair. He weighed 431.5 pounds. In 1998 , his son, Curtis Sandage showed HogZilla, the 1100 pound winner of the state fair Big Boar competition. Justin Lindgren of Paton led the grand champion steer at the 2002 National Junior Angus Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Nate Hertel was among 300 youth from across the country to attend the 2002 National 4-H Conference in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Five youth and two adults from Iowa attended.

The Lamb Producers presented James Hedges with an achievement award at the group’s annual banquet. “Hedges has had a sheep project every year he was in 4-H, and took an active role from a young age in caring for, feeding, training and preparing his lambs for the fair. His 4-H record keeping was “incredible”, said Lamb Producer Brian Sandage. Hedges helped with the Lamb Producers’ preview shows, helped at lamb barbeques, helped with various sheep superintendent duties at the fair, and helped with the showmanship clinic. He showed sheep at the Iowa State Fair nine years and won a belt buckle for showmanship there. He also showed at the American Royal in Kansas City and helped manage the AK-SAR-BEN lamb show. Hedges was attending Iowa State University and working on a sheep farm there.”

4-H’ers Mike Schrum, Ellen Johnston, and Stephanie Hertel, with chaperone Jacque Andrew represented Greene County at the first 4-H legislative day at the state capitol in Des Moines.

During the day the Iowa House of Representatives passed a resolution “recognizing the centennial of 4-H clubs.” During the rally on the steps of the capitol, the 4-H’ers presented lawmakers with a “check” for 62,000 hours of community service. Iowa 4-H members had set a goal of 150,000 community service hours in 2002 to help celebrate the 4-H centennial. At the invitation of Meredith Corporation, the 4-H’ers were treated to a look at the Iowa-based publishing corporation, which was also celebrating its centennial. Ten Meredith editors shared their own 4-H experiences highlighting the confidence gained and leadership and communications skill developed through their participation.

Nancy Wiedmann joined the staff of the Greene County Extension as 4-H county youth coordinator. Cherie Roquet retired from that post the last day of the Greene County Fair.

Ashley Blake became the new Greene County youth coordinator in 2003. Kyle DeMoss, an eighth grader was selected by Rippey Bank and Rolling Hills Bank and Trust to receive five bred heifers in the bank’s heifer project.

Megan Van Horn, Megan Humpal, Angie Oathout, Beth Holz, Lisa Tronchetti, with chaperone, Renee Carhill and Representative Tjepkes met at the capitol in Des Moines for the annual 4-H Legislative Day. The students were treated to a tour of the Capitol and met with various senators and representatives.

New at the 2003 Greene County Fair was Clover Stage in Clover Hall jam packed with FUN and entertainment for everyone. Activities from GPS to beads, fitness, food, quilts and a Quiz Bowl were available.

Susan Hoffman, long time Greene County volunteer and Greenbrier Go-Getters 4-H leader, was named to the 2003 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.

The Greene County Extension office hosted an open house in celebration of Extension’s 100th anniversary of extension work in Iowa, as well as an opportunity to burn the buildings mortgage. In 1997, the Jefferson city council by resolution agreed to transfer the title of an undeveloped, city-owned parking lot to the Extension District if it was found feasible to build a new office. The building was constructed in late 1997 and the office moved in March 1998. The building located at 104 West Washington in Jefferson is the property of the Greene County Agricultural Extension District, which is governed by a nine-member elected Extension Council. The council elected to accelerate payments on the promissory note to reduce interest costs. This was the only extension built and owned building in Iowa.

In 2004 the Greene County Cattlemen’s Association sponsored the producer calf program once again. The Greene County cow-calf producer, ”was to share” his or her calf with a 4-Her. He provided the calf, and the 4-Her was responsible for providing the feed and care. Then, the 4-Her and producer split the money after the calf was sold at the fair.

The Greene County beef program decided to participate in the 2005 beef carcass program made available by ISU specialist Darrell Busby. It was optional for the Beef Pen of three project members, as well as lead beef projects. The advantages to this program were getting actual quality and quantity information from the harvesting process and the ability to sell the animals on the grid, where payment is based on those quality and quantity statistics.

A rodeo was added to the grandstand roundup of entertainment at the Greene County Fair.

Megan Humpal and Anthony Alliger represented Greene County at the 2005 Legislators 4-H Day showcasing 4-H community service projects and learning about the legislative process. 4-H members from sixty-one counties participated.

Matthew Christensen of Scranton was selected to present a paper to the World Food Prize Youth Institute in Des Moines. His paper was on the Youth Institute’s theme of “Understanding Trends in Global Nutrition: The Paradox of Hunger and Obesity.”

Bob and Roger Clause of Grand Junction were inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame at the Iowa State Fair. Besides being active members themselves, they served 4-H as club leaders, county livestock judging team leaders, and livestock superintendents for the Greene County Fair. An interesting piece of their history with the 4-H program was the addition of the phrase “and my world’ to the 4-H Pledge. The Clauses suggested that the phrase be added to the 4-H

Pledge during the 1940’s. “While the official language didn’t change for many years to come, it is a testament to their foresight for the 4-H program – seeing a global perspective that is taken for granted today” stated a news release about their induction.

The Greene County Young Leaders hosted a Shamrock Shindig in March in place of their Sweetheart Dinner. It was held in the Ram Restaurant at the Jefferson-Scranton High School and the proceeds funded community service projects including junior 4-H recruitment, fair activities, and donations to the Stork’s Nest and Greene County Historical Society.

Six Greene County 4-H members competed in the state horse judging contest in June at Jester Park in Granger. Cheyenne and Cassidy McNichols, Lisa and Megan Tronchetti and Kim and Sheila Niles competed against 4-H members from all over the state. They had to place the animals and then give oral reasons for their placings.

In 2006 the Greenbrier 4-H club worked for a month on a community service project for the Barn Quilts of Greene County. Ten club members assisted with priming, building, taping, and painting the eight-foot square Barn Quilt. The four H quilt block is a 1940 Kansas City Star pattern and was chosen to recognize the Greenbrier Club as one of the oldest ongoing 4-H clubs in Greene County. Approximately forty people with ties to the Greenbrier 4-H club attended the Barn Quilt Raising event at the Jerry Christman farm located in Greenbrier township just north of the Greenbrier Church.

The newly created 4-H Intermediate Council practiced their citizenship skills by preparing the State 4-H Camp near Madrid for the summer season. Those helping clean the swimming pool and clean ground at Hickory village were: Stephanie Thompson, Andrew Schnebly, Kristin Shockey, Celia Clause, Kyle Peterson, with Craig Hertel, Greene County Extension Director.

Phyllis Gannon of Grand Junction was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame at the Iowa State Fair. Mrs. Gannon had been involved in 4-H in many ways for more than 46 years. Phyllis, and her late husband were 4-H leaders for the Washington Winners 4-H club for fifteen years, and she served on the Greene County Extension for two terms. She is the matriarch of many years of 4-H’ers, and 4-H was a high priority to her which she instilled in her children and grandchildren.

National 4-H Week featured a longtime 4-H family. When Kami Badger joined the Greenbrier 4-H club, she became the fourth generation to belong to the same club. She is part of the tradition started by her great-grandfather, Clare Badger, who was a member of the Greenbrier club from 1921 to 1931. Her grandfather, Don was member of the club from 1952 to 1960, and her father Brent was a member from 1977 to 1986. Kami will also be the fourth generation to show cattle. Don followed his father’s footsteps and went on to be a leader of the Greenbrier club.

Don remembers the Greene County Fair as being a highlight of the summer. The kids would put up tents and sleep south of the cattle barn. The 4-H food stand was a small wooden building. When it was hot outside, it was very hot in the food stand.

Although Don is no longer a 4-H leader, his interest in the Greene County Fair continues. He has served on the Fair Board for thirty years. Kami was also a fourth generation 4-H member on her mother’s side. Jennifer Badger, her mother and grandmother were all members of 4-H clubs in Boone County. Jennifer was even on the state 4-H Council while she was in high school, and Kami followed her mother’s footsteps there also.

Beth Holz and Cheyenne McNichols were selected for the State 4-H Council. Beth was also selected one of the 22 youth to represent Iowa at the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia,

Andrew Schnebly and Sarah and Stephanie Thompson joined 200 4-H’ers from around the state for the 2007 4-H Day at the Legislature. The three delegates displayed community service projects done by the Greene County 4-H Intermediate Council and the 4-H Young Leaders, sharing their experiences with legislators and visitors.

Joan Allen of Greene County was inducted into the 2007 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair. Allen was a club leader in the 1950’s and 60’s who instilled a sense of dependability, integrity, fair play, and good citizenship in each member, largely by example. She wholeheartedly appreciated working with the 4-H program and was involved in a variety of areas for over twenty years. She was a camp counselor (even leading camp one year), a county 4-H committee member, orchestrated the 4-H food stand at the county fair for several years, and chaperoned many youth trips, including the Citizenship Washington Focus. Coming to this country as an English war bride in the 1940’s her dedication to the youth and the 4-H program was apparent as she received an honorary 4-H membership in 1965, and also received the Youth Involvement Award from Governor Ray.

Steve Haupert, a Greene County 4-H volunteer completed a seventeen-hour certification course, providing local youth an approved shooting sports program focused on safety through Iowa State University Extension 4-H youth development program.

In 2008, Greene County Extension groups across Iowa joined together to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Iowa State University county extension councils and local Extension. Staff planned a wide variety of community service projects, ranging from tree planting to building rehabilitation to community beautification efforts.

In Greene County the celebration revolved around “an ordinary 4-H woodworking project with extraordinary vision.” A small group of 4-H youth and adult volunteers met to construct three

new picnic tables. The youth were part of a woodworking training project. Construction pointers were given by 4-H volunteers Bill Doubler and Doug Hawn. The tables were one part of a new Clover Park campground area being developed.

A plaque commemorating Iowa State’s 150th birthday was presented to the youth by Dr. Tahira Hira, professor of human development and family studies, and executive assistant to ISU’s president Gregory L. Geoffroy. It was to be on display at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Club members working on the project were Evan Schroeder, Andy Anthofer, and Rielly Harrington.

Photography sessions sponsored by the Greene County 4-H program were taught by Peg Gannon. The youth spent classroom time learning tips on how to take better pictures, had one-on-one consultation on how to improve their skill, and got hands-on practice taking both indoor and outdoor shots.

Greene County Clover Kids planted a salad garden with help from the Greene County Master Gardeners for Join Hands Day on May 13. The children planted vegetable seeds at their April meeting using egg shells as starter cups. They took their plantings home to care for them over the next month. In a decorative garden the Master Gardeners developed a design plan that included the Clover Kids seedlings and helped them plant their salad garden. The kids cared for their salad garden over the summer months.

2009 brought many changes in the Extension Office. Craig Hertel, the former County Director moved into his new position of Regional Director, serving the counties of Polk, Dallas and Warren. Greene County’s new Regional Director was Terry Torneten. He came from being the former Shelby County Director. Our long-time Youth Field Specialist, Annette Brown was shifted to serve Boone, Story, Marshall and Hardin counties. On her departure we welcomed Earl McAlexander as our new Youth Program Specialist. He and Terry would serve the new six-county region.

Despite all of the changes in our county we reached a 3% growth goal of 4-H members. That was due to the dedication and enthusiasm of the 4-H members, leaders, and volunteers.

Greene County 4-H member Hannah Gunn was one of 71 young people from across Iowa to have their 2008 State Fair exhibit selected to be on display on the Iowa State University campus. The exhibits, including Hannah’s homemade cat house and scratching post, were selected to showcase the talents of Iowa’s 4-H members beyond a fair setting and were displayed in the Why Opportunity Works (WOW) Center in the Extension 4-H Youth Building.

The Greene County Young Leaders participated in the national service day, “Make a Difference Day”. They joined nearly 100 other volunteers in the fall of 2010 for a day-long work session at the camp, preparing ten cabins for winter.

The Young Leaders also participated in an “Extreme Cabin Makeover” project, where they renovated a cabin at the camp with new landscaping, décor, paint, and furnishings. The

planning took place over the winter and the total renovation of one cabin took place in the spring.

In May of 2010 the Greene County monthly newsletter format was changed to a color format which is still used today. May was also the beginning of a new program – the Greene County Shooting Sports. 4-Hers interested in archery, rifle, or shotgun sports were encouraged to join. Some of the meetings were held at The Fort Dodge Gun Club in Fort Dodge.

Because of extreme restructuring in the Greene County Extension and 4-H office in 2011, we had limited history recorded and published. Sarah Jo Fevold became the County Youth Coordinator.

In 2012 Greene County 4-H 7th and 8th graders were invited to attend the first Region 12 Intermediate Trip to Omaha. New 4-H members were invited to the first New Member Night, where they participated in bowling, eating pizza, and learning more about 4-H. Because of a Community Foundation grant the Greene county 4-H program was able to have two summer interns.

The Greene County Lamb Producers started a successful lamb program in 2013. The goal of the Lamb Barn Project was to make market lambs available to Greene County youth who have the interest in a livestock project, but lack facilities and/or the financing to allow participation.

Another first for Greene County 4-Her’s came in 2014 with the 5th and 6th Grade Multi-County Omaha Zoo Trip.

In 2015 the Greene County Young Leaders held the first, very successful, Pizza Ranch Tip Night.

The Pork Producers held the first Swine Clinic at the 2016 Greene County Fair. Greene County had one participant in the Citizenship Washington Focus trip.

Two individuals from Greene County – Onica Delp, and Jarad Marshall, attended the Citizenship Washington Focus trip in 2017.

State 4-H Project Awards were received by two Greene County 4-H’ers. Samantha Hardaway was awarded the State Dog Project Award, and Emily Heupel the State Citizenship Award. These recipients, both of the Greenbrier 4-H Club, were recognized at the State 4-H Youth Conference during the closing ceremony held at the Iowa State University in Ames.

Greene County has had a long tradition of 4-H which has made an impressive impact on both the adults and youth. This influence was the direct result of many dedicated people over the years laying the principled ground work. Those include great community club members, leaders, parents, and fair board members. In the latter years the Greene County Extension Office has been a great force behind our great 4-H program. Today, as in the 1920’s 4-H continues to promote the same strong values for youth in and around our county.

There are three of the original 4-H clubs serving the youth in Greene County that are now over 70 years old: Cedar Highland, Greenbrier, and Hardin Happy Hustlers


Hall of Fame Inductees from Greene County

2002 – Randy and Linda Hedges

2003 – Susan Hoffman

2004 – no nominee

2005 – Bob and Roger Clause

2006 – Phyllis Gannon

2007 – Joan Allen

2008 – Marilyn Allender

2009 – Lois Graven

2010 – Vernon and Corinne Bancroft

2011 – Donel and Maxine Ebersole

2012 – Wendy and Gary Mount

2013 – Steve and Julie Karber

2014 – Doug Hawn

2015 – David and Cheri Roquet

2016 – Monica McGregor

2017 – Alice Walters (101 years old)

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