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

Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees

2017 Union County: Jack and Mona Quee

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:35 AM

The 2017 Union County inductees to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame are Jack and Mona Quee of Afton.  Jack and Mona shared their passion for horses with three generations of 4-H youth in Union County and throughout Iowa.

During the past 50 years Jack and Mona have become well known in the community for stepping up to help wherever help is needed, from organizing food for Saddle Club trail rides to cooking in lunch stands during horse shows to chaperoning a throng of kids camping at the Iowa State Fair.

In 1970, they became leaders of the Horse & Riders 4-H club and were instrumental in the club’s formation and development. At the same time, Jack volunteered for the county 4-H horse committee. Though they relinquished their role as club leaders after 15 years, Jack and Mona continued to attend the club’s monthly meetings and practice sessions and to this day are there to share their wisdom through a demonstration, advice or story. 

The couple remembers when horses were housed in tents at the Union County Fair, and they helped build the horse barn in 1970. They provide support, time and equipment to keep the arena in shape for shows and were instrumental in the recent refurbishing of the show arena.

Jack is always at the Union County Fair to help as a ring man, judge, gate opener or to do whatever else is needed. Jack also ran the arena gates for the Iowa State Fair 4-H Horse Show.

“It was always a comfort knowing Jack was letting your kids into the ring at the State Fair,” tells a former 4-H member whose children, and now grandchildren, benefit from Jack’s knowledge and patience. “Jack is that friendly face to calm your nerves, and though he is never quick to give advice, when he does, it is always worthwhile.”

“Nothing can take the place of practice and time with a horse. It’s a lot of fun to watch these kids develop their skills, improve their confidence and grow up,” Jack says. “When we started, I didn’t know half as much about showing as I do now. I imagine we received more out of helping the kids than they received from us,” Jack adds.

“4-H is a great way for kids to make friends and learn how to work together. It teaches them about winning, losing and other life lessons,” says Mona. “And they have fun.”

The retired couple raises horses on their farm near Afton and enjoy riding, including an annual trip to gather and move cattle from summer pastures in the Colorado mountains. They are active members of the Union County Saddle Club, serving many years as officers, and are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Creston, where Jack served as a church elder. Their family includes daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Bruce Herzberg, three grandchildren, two great granddaughters and son, the late Lonnie Quee.

2017 Taylor County: Lonnie and Billie Jean Barker

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:33 AM

Lonnie and his late wife, Billie Jean, have been strong supporters of the Taylor County 4H program for over 50 years.  Billie Jean started her 4-H career as a member and belonged to the Platte Peppy Pals 4-H club.  She later became a leader of that club as her three children joined 4-H.   Lonnie taught the Tractor Safety course provided by the extension office for 15 years and was also a Boy Scout leader.    Both were involved with the Extension Council and the fair board.  Billie Jean was a member of the Iowa Sesquicentennial Committee for the county, raising funds to construct a new red barn at the fairgrounds.  Lonnie was a member of the Advisory Committee for ISU Extension.  In 1981, they were recognized as outstanding individuals in the 4-H program and presented with the Honorary 4-H Member recognition. 

Working side by side at their family business, Barker Implement, they still found time to volunteer in the community.   They were involved in the Lenox Chamber, the Lenox Stock and Saddle Club, the Lenox Rotary Club, the Tourism Committee, the Lenox Park and Pool Board & the Library Board, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the United Methodist Church.  They especially enjoyed spreading cheer as Santa and Mrs. Claus during the community Christmas Carnival the 4Her’s hosted for over 15 years.   They have been great supporters of all the Lenox school activities, rarely missing an opportunity to cheer on the team, applaud at the music program or laugh with others at school plays. 

As their grandchildren joined 4H, they continued to encourage, teach, guide, and enjoy the activities of the fair.  They could always be seen at the livestock shows, browsing the 4H buildings looking at the exhibits and supporting the youth at the annual livestock fair sale.   

Taylor County would like to honor them for their community dedication, the encouragement to our youth and for keeping 4-H vision and family involvement a tradition.

2017 Van Buren County: Janet Meek

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:32 AM

Janet Meek has been a long-time supporter of the 4-H program.  Janet grew up in a family of 12 children.  She enjoyed being outside and helping her father around the farm, although he died at a young age.  She was a 4-Her during the time when there were 4-H clubs for girls and 4-H clubs for boys.  She couldn’t show livestock as a member of a girls club, so her projects were sewing, cooking, crafts, and writing, especially poetry.

Janet was the leader of the Birmingham Busy Bees 4-H club for 13 years.  This club was one of the larger clubs in Van Buren County.  One of the special projects Janet remembers was showing the 4-H members how to make flowers out of pigskin.

She served on the Van Buren County Extension Council from 2001-2006. She was also a member of the Van Buren County Pork Producers.

Janet was a strong advocate for the 4-H organization and it’s opportunities for life skill development. She crusaded for the underdog or the 4-H member from a low resource family as well as other 4-H members in Van Buren County.

Janet went from working with county youth activities to assisting with financial fees. She made sure every 4-H member had the opportunity for achievement of personal and educational/career goals.  She found a way to make things happen and 4-H alumni have remarked that Janet “made a difference in their lives.”

Her husband Van was also a 4-H leader and their 2 sons, Brian and Richard were active 4-H members.  Janet firmly believes in 4-H and the personal development for the 4-Her and the family involvement that is an essential part of the 4-H program.

Janet will always be a 4-H promoter.

2017 Tama County: Margaret Thomsen

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:31 AM

The Tama County 4-H Program is proud to honor Margaret Thomsen as their 2017 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame inductee.

Prior to being a leader, Margaret Thomsen opened her home to have meetings and workshops. Her daughter Ann remembers making cinnamon and applesauce ornaments before Christmas when she was in 4-H. 

Margaret began as a leader for the Crystal Sunbeams 4-H Club in 1986 and continued until the club disbanded. For 15 years she was committed to the club and the members.

Margaret has a passion for communication and clothing events. She has helped to critique and compose many presentations for her daughters and other members of Crystal Sunbeams. Even today, she judges communication and clothing events around the area. She loves judging agriculture and natural resources.  She also judges clothing and home improvement.

Margaret continues to support Tama County 4-H from behind a camera. Each year at the Tama County Fair, Margaret attends nearly all the livestock shows to take pictures and organizes them to be included in a special edition of the local newspapers. Margaret is always present at the annual 4-H awards banquet to include pictures and an article in the local papers. Anytime pictures are needed for the newspaper, Margaret is there! She gives great attention to detail, always making sure she has everyone’s name correct and promoting 4-H through the newspapers.

It is an honor to have her inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame! Thank you Margaret for your dedication to the youth of Tama County.


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2017 Story County: David & Alice Moody

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:29 AM

David and Alice Moody have been dedicated to 4-H for their entire lives.  4-H was an important part of their growing up years.  David was in the Indian Creek 4-H Club and Alice was in the Collins Happy Homemakers 4-H Club.  They raised three daughters who continued in their parents footsteps as active 4-H’ers.  Their daughters are now married but if they can be home at fair time, they will pitch in and help just like mom and dad.

Alice and David both served as leaders of the Milford Marvels 4-H Club.  There were both farm and city members in the club.  Alice encouraged youth to be the best they could be in whatever project or task they chose.  Club tours were a favorite with members.  As leaders, serving others was an important value they instilled in the club members.  Community clean up and cleaning up Jack Trice Stadium after an Iowa State football game are just two activities they undertook.

David has been a strong fair board member for 24 years.  In 1990, he served as vice president and in 2000 he was president. Alice served on the board for 18 years as treasurer and secretary.  David and Alice are committed to making the fair a great learning experience for the youth of Story County.  Education and commitment to the growth of youth are central in all they do.

David has served as superintendent of the swine department for many years.  He constantly teaches youth the principles of swine production.  He helped create a new class titled Understanding Pork Production.  Participants keep a record of their swine project, attend workshops, and participate in the fair. 

David and Alice created the Supreme Showmanship Contest, an important educational tool for youth.  Senior champions in six different species take turns showing each other’s animals.  With this contest, they continue to support ways for youth to grow and learn.

David was chair of the Community Building Committee, which planned and carried out the renovation of this historic building on the fair grounds.  The original building was finished in 1941.  The plan was to keep the historic appearance of the building with some updates such as heating and air conditioning, a feature appreciated by fair goers in 2016.  David has an important responsibility in managing this beautiful building.

No one truly knows the hours that David and Alice have devoted to the success of Story County 4-H.  Neither of them seeks recognition for their efforts.  We are pleased to recognize David and Alice Moody as the 2017 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame recipients.

2017 Sioux County: Joan Punt

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:28 AM

Joan Punt has been an integral part of the Sioux County 4-H program for over 20 years. She started out as a 4-H member of the Hull Clovers 4-H Club.

When the need arose for a leader for the Sioux Stockman, Joan took time out of her busy family and nursing schedule to volunteer and help guide young minds in their 4-H years. Joan knew the importance of the skills she learned in 4-H herself and was happy to share them with the young members.

Joan inspires her members by entering in the Open Class each year at the Sioux County Fair with the Bucket of Flowers project.  Joan is a direct and ongoing leader of the club and has trained the new club leaders in the most efficient way to run the meetings.

Joan and her husband were active in implementing the Partners in Education group and started the Blue Grass Concert Fundraiser, both for the Ireton Christian School. She spent many hours in the church as church librarian, nursery caretaker and leader for Pioneer Club. She was also an active member of the Town and Country Booster Club in Maurice Iowa.


2017 Wapello County: Don and Pat Swanson

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:27 AM

Don and Pat Swanson are lifelong members of 4-H. Both were raised in families that supported 4-H. Their passion for agriculture and service continues today. Pat was an exemplary member of the Britt Busy Beavers 4-H club in Hancock County, and Don was a champion livestock showman and county tractor rodeo winner from the Bladensburg Sodbusters 4-H club.

After the two married and settled in Wapello County, they continued the 4-H tradition with their two children, Jake and Erica. Don and Pat made a commitment to share their experiences with not only their children, but also county youth and families.

Pat served as the leader of the Pleasant U & I Sodbusters 4-H club for several years, and continues her service on the board of the Wapello County 4-H Foundation. Her endless creativity and enthusiasm for helping 4-H’ers could be seen every year during the 4-H Expo. The club grew to the largest in Wapello County, with members from both urban and rural areas. In addition, she started a clover kids program for the club to get more kids involved in service and leadership at an early age.

Don has devoted his time to serving on the Wapello County Expo Board, including terms as president and beef superintendent. He helped with numerous service projects, livestock weigh-ins, and expo events. He has always encouraged kids to get involved with showing livestock, and has helped many get started with swine and beef projects. As a result of his recruitment, many community businesses have become engaged as sponsors of the ribbon auction.

 Both Don and Pat have spent countless hours setting up, tearing down, and preparing for the next 4-H Expo, never hesitating to step in and help when needed.

Above all, they truly enjoyed working with the great families of Wapello County to support 4-H and grow their community. Don and Pat continue to volunteer with Wapello County 4-H and state fair functions, and advocate for youth programs.

2017 Scott County: Eugene and Julie Shocker

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:27 AM

Long hours of 4-H volunteer time are shared by Eugene and Julie Shocker of New Liberty, Iowa.  Their work on the bucket calf project in Scott County has found them sharing project information to new members, assisting with record keeping, arranging for interviews with judges, setting up barn space, running the show and keeping track of scores. The end result? Quality learning and smiles!

The youth involved in the bucket calf project learn to take good care of their animals, proper record keeping, how to speak to a judge about what they learned and the satisfaction of doing quality work.

The Shockers have worked on this project for many years, providing the education, helping families get projects started and emphasizing the importance of the learning involved.  They stress that the show ring is only part of the experience, but the skills of record keeping and communication are a major part of this project.  Their reward is seeing the growth of the young people – during the first year of the project and during the next years as the members return with increased knowledge, poise and enthusiasm.

The bucket calf project would not be as strong without the Shocker’s dedication to the youth and the program.  It is considered to be one of the strongest project areas in the Scott County 4-H program.

2017 Warren County: Marie Henry

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:26 AM

Marie Henry’s passion for 4-H began as a young member of the Belmont Peppers 4-H club. That passion has not abated. Marie, her husband, Keith, and their four children; Lexie, Allison, Megan, and Jordan have all been and are currently involved in 4-H. It has kept both parents on the run for 19 years.

Marie, the leader of the Shooting Stars 4-H club since 1996, has grown the club membership to the largest in Warren County. Marie encourages 4-H members to take at least one static exhibit to the fair, exhibit livestock and participate in communication events at the county and state levels. Marie truly believes in assisting in the development of youth and pushes them beyond their own boundaries by teaching them the values of leadership, civic duty, volunteering, and knowing the importance of exacting financial and project records.

Marie also serves on the Warren County 4-H Youth Committee, and is one of the founding members of the Warren County 4-H Foundation which provides scholarships for camp attendance and service projects for individuals as well as 4-H clubs.

Marie, along with her Shooting Stars 4-H members, were extremely helpful in assisting with the promotion of the referendum which when passed allowed Warren County Extension additional funding for all programming.

At the fair, Marie is always helping her members with their animals, giving guidance and assistance in the 4-H building, working in the cattlemen’s headquarters and, of course, watching her members, her children, and her great nieces and nephews. She is a great encouragement to her 4-H members who, in turn, become mentors and encourage new or younger members.

Marie’s service to others is exceptional; her family is premier, at work she is admired and respected, she is an active member of her Church, and is an extremely valuable 4-H volunteer who has consistently gone above and beyond her implied and written responsibilities. Marie is a great example of the selfless role model and an asset to the Warren County 4-H youth program.

2017 Shelby County: Mike Thraen

Posted on 08/28/2017 at 9:26 AM

At age 8, Mike started his 4-H career as a member of the Douglas Wise Owls 4-H Club and was later an active member of the Shelby County Youth Council. 

Mike is an active supporter of Shelby County 4-H and the Shelby County Fair. He was the Shelby County Beef Superintendent for 14 years, 4-H Committee member for 11 years and most recently an advisor for the county youth council for 5 years.

Mike continually demonstrates his commitment to Shelby County 4-H and is a very dedicated volunteer that works diligently to assure every 4-H member is headed in the right direction with their livestock projects.   He is instrumental in the 4-H livestock program where he is a mentor and always volunteering to help at all 4-H and FFA livestock weigh-ins. 

Mike is a hard worker, and has worked in agriculture most of his life.  He has also been involved in leadership roles through the United Methodist Church in Harlan.

Mike is a wonderful ambassador for Harlan and Shelby County through his agricultural networks and friendships.  No matter what capacity Mike offers his time, he is always willing to work extra hours, learn as much as possible and be of service to the community.  He has many strong relationships locally and statewide.  His skills, knowledge and abilities make him well respected by everyone with whom he works. 

Those who know Mike, know he is a fun, conscientious person with a strong presence.  He has been responsive when called on for assistance of any kind.  He is a “happy-go-lucky kind of guy” who always has a smile where ever you see him throughout the community. 

There is no doubt that Mike values his family.  He, along with his late wife Sonja, is a caring parent who loves his three children and six grandchildren.  In knowing Mike, there is no doubt that his perspective as a parent, herdsman, and educator have compelled him to work for good things in his community.  Both as a volunteer and in his career, Mike has supported many community improvement efforts.  Shelby County is a better place to live due to Mike’s diligent work.

Mike Thraen has dedicated nearly 50 years of his life to Shelby County and the 4-H program. Shelby County 4-H is pleased to recognize Mike Thraen as the 2017 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame inductee from Shelby County. 



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