Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees - Iowa 4-H Foundation

Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees

2012 Dallas County- Derry Pitsenbarger

Posted on 09/06/2012 at 9:42 AM

Derry Pitsenbarger of Dallas County was a member of the Lincoln Workers 4-H Club starting at the age of 10.  Exhibiting beef and swine was the main focus of project involvement.  He assisted his younger siblings as they   exhibited at the Dallas County Fair, Ak-Sar-Ben and the Clay County Fair.  4-H was a family affair at the Pitsenbarger's.

Following high school Derry attended Oklahoma A & M where he participated on the livestock judgiing team,  rodeo and was inducted into the Who's Who in Junior Colleges in 1967.  During the summers he worked at the Iowa State Fair in the beef department.

Derry's passion for agriculture, rural life and admiration for 4-H and the values and skills the organization taught sparked his interest in being involved at the leadership level.  He was a leader of the Lincoln Workers 4-H Club five years and served on the Dallas County Fair Board 36 years including 10 years as president.  In addition Derry served on the Association of Iowa Fairs nine years again including a term as president.

Derry and his wife Joyce farm in Dallas County and had three daughters who were all involved in 4-H, exhibiting livestock in numerous shows over the years.  Today they support their grandchildren involved with 4-H.  They speak of the memories shared together at county and state show experiences.  4-H continues to be an important part of life for the Pitsenbarger family.

Derry has always believed in sharing farming as a way of life, with youth and promoting agricultureto other generations, hoping more and more family farms will spring up throughout the county and state.  Though his years in leadership roles are past, he continues to support local 4-H'ers by purchasing their livestock at the fair auctions and making donations to the fairgrounds/fair board as well.

To Derry, 4-H is timeless.  Back in 1956 the four "H's" in the 4-H pleadge represented important considerations in being a good citizen. Despite the many changes in the world since the 1950's those core values of the 4-H organization seem even more important today. Derry Pitsenbarger has been very honored to be involved with something so meaningful for so many years of his life and hopes to continue involvement and support for years to come

2012 Marion County - Sharon Thill

Posted on 08/20/2012 at 11:03 AM
Sharon Thill is the true definition of a 4-H volunteer.  Her career in 4-H started when she joined the Merry Maidens 4-H Club in 1970. She held multiple leadership positions, took many exhibits to Iowa State Fair, volunteered her time for community service, served on the area 4-H council, and was always a leader for committees in her club.
 In the early 1970’s Sharon and her twin sister Karen made and styled the new Iowa 4-H uniform. It was voted on and became the official Iowa 4-H uniform. While in college she worked for the fair board in Crawford County for three years. After graduating from college Sharon married Randy Thill and moved to Marion County. They live in Pleasantville where she also teaches high school business.
While her kids were growing up she became a twenty year volunteer leader.  In 1999 Sharon became an organization leader for the Just-Us 4-H Club and is still the leader today. She puts many long hours in making sure club members get everything they can out of 4-H. She encourages members in the 4-H club to always do their best and to enjoy 4-H.

Sharon has a loving personality and is a devoted leader. She puts many long hours in helping with judging and the displaying of the static exhibits at the Marion County Fair. She helps set up, oversees the building during the days of the fair, and helps prepare the exhibits building for the next years at the Marion County Fair. Sharon has provided many hours of service to her community and to Marion County 4-H. It seems only fitting that Sharon is inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame because she has touched so many lives around her. 


2012 Jackson County - Vern & Cindy Poll

Posted on 08/20/2012 at 10:54 AM

Vern and Cindy Poll live in Maquoketa and are the nominees for the 4-H Hall of Fame for Jackson County. They have been involved with 4-H for many years. Cindy started in 4-H in the Buckhorn Busy Bodies 4-H club. While in that club she exhibited in clothing and food and nutrition. Then she became a member of the Southfork Stockmen so she was able to exhibit Purebred Angus cattle.     

In 1976, Cindy became a leader of the Buckhorn Busy Bodies 4-H club and has served as a leader, to this day, for a total of 37 years. Vern became a leader of the same club in 1991 and has served for 22 years. During their time as leaders, Vern and Cindy have continued to be involved with the members of the club, doing everything from answering questions about how to do certain indoor projects, to teaching on safety of being around animals and power tools, to giving tips and advice on record books and write-ups on exhibits.
Not only have Vern and Cindy been leaders for numerous years, they have also been members of several 4-H committees. They both have been a part of the Food Stand Committee for several years as well as the Youth Committee. Vern served as President of the Youth Committee in 1993. Cindy has been a member of the Endowment Committee for 3 years. The nominees have been indoor exhibit judges for several different counties with Vern judging woodworking and Cindy judging food and nutrition. There have been a few years that the couple volunteered their time to take exhibits, from the Jackson County Fair, to be judged at the Iowa State Fair.
Vern and Cindy have three children: Lindsay, Josh and Andrea. All three children were involved with 4-H their whole lives, from before they were able to join 4-H all the way through to their senior year of high school. During this time, their kids exhibited indoor projects as well as showing livestock at the county and state fair level. All the kids were involved with Share the Fun at the County Fair. Andrea and Lindsay were also involved with County Council. Vern and Cindy Poll, along with their children, were awarded the 4-H Family of the Year in 1993. Vern and Cindy continue to contribute their time and knowledge to the 4-H program. They are looking forward to seeing their grandchildren join and be involved in 4-H as they become old enough. 


2012 Howard County - Howard & Jane Goldsworthy

Posted on 08/20/2012 at 10:53 AM

Howard and Jane Goldsworthy have been dedicated 4-H volunteers and "cheerleaders" for more than 30 years.  They were 6-year members of the Howard County 4-H Youth Committee.  Howard and Jane have been advocates of 4-H, and the positive self-confidence 4-H instills in youth and encouraged the idea of "Learning By Doing".  Jane served as a 4-H leader and assistant to the Cresco Merrymakers 4-H'ers for over 15 years and has been a 5 county 4-H judge for over 12 years with much help and support from Howard.  Howard and Jane have two daughters Gretta and Gena.  Both daughters were active members of the Howard County 4-H Program and were participants in state 4-H programs as well. The couple are proud grandparents to 4 grandchildren.

Neither Jane or Howard grew up with 4-H programs in their youth but became involved as their young daughters grew.  They saw the importance and valuable life experiences 4-H could provide to their daughters and worked tirelessly to grow the county 4-H program.  Howard and Jane served Howard County 4-H well beyond the years their own daughters were active in county 4-H programs.  Jane and Howard were instrumental in the development and success of their daughters learning experiences in local and state 4-H programs and that has continued onto the next generations with their 4 grandchildren.  The couples work ethic and community service carries over into 4-H and serves to motivate others to be involved and encourage today's youth to the important life experiences 4-H can provide. 
The couple carries on the pledge of 4-H in their retirement years.  They enjoy wintering in Arizona and traveling and learning about unusual places all over the world, serving their church and community, and spending time with family and friends.



2012 Grundy County - Denise Freeseman

Posted on 08/08/2012 at 12:56 PM
Denise Freeseman was a longtime member of the Blackhawk Blackhawks 4-H Club taking a variety of exhibits to the county fair in food & nutrition, home improvement and clothing.  She was also an active youth member of the 4-H Youth Committee.
Denise and her husband Dave have three children, Melissa, Jason and Ashley.  Her children were involved in 4-H at the county and state level participating and volunteering in state 4-H events.  They were involved in communications, fashion show, beef and completed many con-livestock projects.  Denise was very supportive of her children’s participation in 4-H and continues to encourage youth to participate in a variety of events.
Denise was a leader of the Grundy County Buck Grove Buckaneers club for eleven years.  During her time as a 4-H leader she had a very large, active and enthusiastic group of girls.  Denise organized the community service projects and opportunities for the club members to learn about the variety of 4-H project areas.  She helped her members prepare for fair and work on record keeping.  She did her best to help the club members succeed
After retiring as a club leader she continued to serve as an active member of the Grundy County Youth Committee and helped plan and organize the annual 4-H Omelet Breakfast.  She has helped judge record books at the county level and also volunteered to help with state awards.  Denise spends part of her summer judging at various fairs around the state.  She enjoys the opportunity to visit with youth about their exhibit goals and what they have learned in their project areas.
Not only is Denise a very active with the 4-H program, she has also served as a deacon and member of the Christian education committee in her church.  Denise Freeseman continues to be an encouragement to young people and is remembered by the alumni and youth who were a part of her club or the 4-H Youth Committee as a strong supporter of the Grundy County 4-H program.  She looks forward to watching her grandchildren grow up in the family 4-H tradition she started many years ago.


2012 Monroe County- Helen & Gene Kline

Posted on 08/03/2012 at 11:03 AM
A mainstay is defined as “a thing on which something else is based or depends.”  Helen and Gene Kline certainly fit that definition for 4-H in Monroe County.  In 1990 they became co-leaders of the Georgetown Shamrocks 4-H club and remained in those positions for 17 years, and their son Steve was an active member in the Monroe County 4-H program.  They were leaders of the Dog Obedience Club from 2007 through 2009, and they are faithful donors of trophies and awards for the dog project areas. 
Helen and Gene are great supporters of the Monroe County Fair.  At the fair and other 4-H events Gene and Helen work long hours at the food booth, and to help, Helen volunteers to cook and bake pies.  They both serve on the Monroe County Fair Board where Helen is the secretary/ treasurer.  For the past five years Gene and Helen have worked together as a team to keep up the landscaping in and around the Monroe County Fairgrounds, taking care of the its look and presentation. 
Helen and Gene have each been named Honorary 4-H members in Monroe County, and they continue to support and promote 4-H.
Gene and Helen Kline truly strive to “Make the Best Better” through involvement with their family, friends and community.  They live the 4-H pledge by example and teach the value of the 4-H slogan to all who have the privilege of knowing them.  They are truly mainstays of 4-H in Monroe County.


2012 Benton County- Judi Hertle

Posted on 07/31/2012 at 4:23 PM
Judi Hertle’s mother was a 4H leader and introduced her to 4H when she was nine years old.  Judi was a 4H’er in Benton County for nine years.  She was the county secretary in 1961 and met her husband, Terry, at 4H events.  They were married in 1964.  Judi received many blue ribbons during her 9 years as a 4H member. She also repesented Benton County at the Iowa State Fair in the “Better Grooming Contest” and the “Fashion Revue”.
Judi and her husband Terry had a son and a daughter who both participated in Benton County 4H for nine years.  Judi started a new 4H club in Eden Township of Benton County when her daughter wanted to join 4H and there wasn’t a club in the area.  She was the club leader for seventeen years.  The Eden Township club is still active today.
When she retired as the 4H leader, Judi was elected to the Extension Council where she has been a member of the council for sixteen years and the chairperson for approximately twelve years. Judi is a member of the state IACEC board and she and her husband Terry were named by the state as “Friends of Extension”.   Judi has also received the honor of being selected as a Benton County Honorary 4H Member.
As an Extension Council member as well as a 4H alumni Judi has always recommended funding the 4H program to help all youth.  Judi is also a member of the Benton County 4H Foundation Committee, is a 4H 400 donor and a yearly donor to the Benton County 4H Booster Club.  This year, Judi served on the 4H Future Focus Committee, setting goals and making improvements to the county program for the benefit of youth. 
Judi has been a 4H judge for over thirty years, judging in the S.E.T. and Home Economic areas including the Educational Presentations, Fashion Revue and Clothing Selection contests.  Judi judges about ten fairs or contests each summer as well as helping at the Benton County Fair.
Currently, Judi and her husband Terry have two granddaughters who are Benton County 4H’ers, making four generations of 4H’ers for the Hertle family. 


2012 Cass County- Marlene Miller

Posted on 07/31/2012 at 4:19 PM
Marlene Miller, currently leader of the Cass County Cowpokes, has nearly 50 years of experience as part of the Cass County 4-H program.  Marlene Miller was a youth member of the Massena Merry Maids from 1965-1972.  As a member, horse was one of her favorite project areas.  She did not stop there though.  She went on to have a long history with the Cass County 4-H program that continues still.

For approximately 15 years, she assisted with Lincoln Guys and Gals 4-H club.  She has been leader of Cowpokes for 3 years and has been associated with the Cowpokes program for 20+ years.  She also served two terms on Youth Action Committee from 2000-2004. Special projects she helped with include being a record book judge for many years, helping with the pre-fair workshop, assisting with Mardi Gras, serving on the Centennial Committee,  and many more events and youth opportunities.
Marlene also raised 4 boys who all participated in 4-H with swine and horse projects.


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2012 Hamilton County- Dean and Adele Bowden

Posted on 07/31/2012 at 4:09 PM

Dean and Adele Bowden have given a substantial gift to Hamilton County Extension and to the 4-H program when they gifted the Newcastle Building on June 30th, 2011.  Dean Bowden bought the Newcastle Building in 1982 as an investment, which he managed until he gifted it.

In 2006, the Hamilton County Extension was looking to move to a new location. Bowden had some space in the back of the building that needed remodeling and redecorating, and felt it was a good fit for the organization.
"The Extension Council felt the building was in a good location," he said. "It's close to the fairgrounds and is highly visible. When people from other parts of the county come in, they can easily find it, it is handicapped accessible and the onsite parking is a definite bonus."
Dean and Adele believe in 4-H,". "They were both longtime 4-H members from Buchanan County. Adele's mother worked for Extension for 20 years and was inducted as an Iowa Hall of Fame Member. Both of their fathers were 4-H leaders."
Dean tells how both Adele and he grew up in the 1950s, an era where 4-H was everything to farm kids.  They were in a position where they wanted to perpetuate that in Hamilton County.  Dean is a partner at Webster City Custom Meats. He and his wife have lived in the community for the past 35 years.  Dean and Adele felt giving the building to Hamilton County Extension, it would save some money that would otherwise be used for rent and then the extra could be put into programming,"
Not only have the Bowden’s given the building to Hamilton County Extension, Dean and Adele have been loyal supporters to our Hamilton County 4-H Foundation.  They give generously to the annual membership drive and the 4-H scholarship drive each year, so Hamilton County 4-H’ers have assistance when they wish to expand their horizons by taking part in many of the activities the Hamilton County 4-H Foundation sponsor.
Dean is also one of the loyal cattlemen, who assist the older 4-H’ers each year at the Hamilton County Fair with their annual Bar B Q fundraiser. 
Dean and Adele you truly BLEED GREEN for the Hamilton County 4-H program and ISU Extension.  STAFF and Hamilton County 4-H’ers THANK YOU for all your support to our county 4-H program.


2012 Fayette County- David Turner

Posted on 07/31/2012 at 10:43 AM

David Turner of Arlington has been a life-long supporter of the Fayette County 4-H program.  David is the parent of two children, Dan and Mary, who were also members in Fayette County.  He is the proud grandfather of two. 

Over the years, Dave has been very instrumental to the 4-H program of Fayette County as he started 4-H in 1958 as a member of the Fairfield Indians 4-H club. Throughout his 4-H career David enjoyed showing dairy and sheep. He became a club leader with the Fairfield Indians, took a little break and is now a leader of the Arlington Ignitors. 

In 2002, David, along with two other individuals from the county, made the initial monetary donation to start the Fayette County 4-H Endowment fund. It was at this time that Fayette County started holding a county wide Omelet brunch in which David has helped every year which raises money for the Fayette County 4-H program. 
In addition, David served 30 plus years on the Fayette County Extension Council, serving as president and Youth Committee Representative attending monthly meetings, helps at livestock weigh-ins and recently volunteered to serve as the county sheep superintendent. 

In 2009, David was selected to serve on the Region 4 Regional Extension Council representing Fayette County in which he attends meetings and reports back to the County Extension council. He has been on the IACEC Board of Directors for 3 years and has just been re- elected to another 3-year term.  While on the IACEC Board, Dave has been active on the legislative committee and faithfully attended the annual IACEC Legislative Day for many years, bringing a carload of supporters with him every time. 

Staying busy is what David enjoys most as not only is he involved in the Extension and 4-H world but also in his community as he serves on the local church board, is a Legion member, participating and judging open class barbeque contests and judging 4-H exhibits at county fairs.  He serves as a Shrine clown parading at local town celebrations throughout Northeast Iowa and enjoys riding Amtrak across the United States to visit his children. 
David is a great supporter of ISU Extension (and especially 4-H) wherever he goes, bleeds green and is proud of it as he is often heard saying, “It’s all about the kids, that is why we are here.”


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