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

Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees

2019 State Recognition: Darrell Busby

Posted on 08/20/2019 at 3:22 PM

Darrell Busby was raised in St. Francis, Kansas, a small town in the northwest corner of the state. He and his three younger brothers raised cattle, sheep and pigs. He was a member of the Lawn Ridge 4-H club for eight years and received the State 4-H recognition award in swine in 1968. His early experiences through his 4-H and FFA activities were key to his ongoing interest in a career in agriculture, with particular guidance from his 4-H leaders and county extension agents.  Darrell even met Cathy, the girl who became his wife, at the county fair where they were both showing 4-H hogs—that’s a real love story!

Darrell further pursued his education at Kansas State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree there. Upon graduation, he worked for Rush County (KS) Extension, and then transferred to Sherman County, KS. Three years later like many other farm boys, he decided to return to the farm and raise livestock. But the call to pursue further education remained. Dr. Larry Corah convinced Darrell to enroll in and complete a Master’s degree program in animal science back at K-State. Darrell embarked on a new opportunity in 1980 when he accepted the position of Extension Livestock Specialist in Southwest Iowa, where he served until his retirement in June 2017.

Throughout his life, Darrell has always held a special place in his heart for kids. His actions speak volumes for his commitment to youth; most notably youth with beef projects. He has been a judge at 4-H cattle shows, and also was assistant sheep superintendent at the AK-SAR-BEN stock show for 22 years, and through the years assisted the 4-H program at the Iowa State Fair.​​​​​​​

One special topic that Darrell has been committed to involves the financial risk inherent to 4-H and FFA beef projects. For over a decade, animals from these beef projects sometimes resulted in “dark cutters.” These are beef animals that have been stressed before harvest resulting in lower market value meat. The financial burden to the youth was considerable, and discouraged some from growing calves. Darrell established a self-insurance program where all youth contribute a small fee to an insurance fund to support youth who suffer serious financial setbacks.  As of 2012, this insurance program helped 35 youth across Iowa. Each year, Darrell worked with a committee of extension staff and youth leaders to review the program, evaluate payments made, review any carryover funds and then set premium costs for the next year. Quite a success, indeed!

As another part of his commitment to youth, he has served as the go-to guy for 4-H and FFA beef carcass data collection, leading the efforts for 26 years in Southwest Iowa. Carcass data is used to learn about productivity and profitability in the beef project. As an example for impacts, in 2012 dat​​​​​​​a describing 1351 beef calf carcasses were collected and summarized from 38 counties and 2 contests at the Iowa State Fair.

During Darrell’s tenure as an Extension beef specialist, he was bombarded with questions about all aspects of raising, marketing and anything else about cattle from people in all parts of the industry. Sometimes, serious issues lead Darrell to the development of creative educational programming—programs that were the envy of other regions of the state.​​​​​​​

Closer to home, Darrell served as a local 4-H club leader. He was a member of the Oakland Community School District Board of Education, president of the Oakland Optimist Club and has been very active in the Methodist Church. He even found time to run the scoreboard on Friday nights for Oakland High School football games.​​​​​​​

A few of the awards Darrell has received though his career include being named an Honorary Master Pork Producer, FFA Distinguished Service award, East Pottawattamie Friend of 4-H, Excellence in Agricultural Extension Programs, the R.K. Bliss Award, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Hall of Fame, and now his 2019 selection to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.

Thank you, Darrell Busby, for your commitment to “Making the Best Better” throughout your career.   

2019 State Recognition: Roy Hougen

Posted on 08/20/2019 at 3:19 PM

Roy Hougen began his 4-H experience as a member with club work in both South Dakota and Minnesota spanning the years of 1947-52. His top memories from then were showing Poland China hogs at the county fair. Other club memories include the sharing of project learning, practicing parliamentary procedure, and simply making friends.

Roy attended Iowa State University, graduating in 1957 with a B.S. in Agriculture-Farm Operations. His Extension career began with stints as Extension 4-H assistant in Sioux County, Iowa and then moving to Hancock County, serving as Extension 4-H associate. He returned to ISU in 1961 to complete a graduate degree. He returned to Extension as 4-H and Youth Program District Leader serving 4 years in Spirit Lake, and then was promoted to an Assistant State Leader for 4-H and Youth Programs, housed in the Fort Dodge area office. As Assistant State Leader, he gave leadership to youth program planning and project liaison in 26 counties in Northwest Iowa. Roy’s paramount focus was in working with county-based staff on planning to improve each county’s program according to its needs. Roy’s special sense of humor helped develop office camaraderie in a special event called “The Red Pen.” Co-workers will fondly recall those times with amusement.

While 4-H and Youth programs were his vocation, in his free time he also served as a volunteer club leader with the Fort Dodge Falcons 4-H club in Webster County.

In 1986, Roy moved up organizationally to join the state office as State Extension 4-H Development Specialist. In this role, he focused on volunteer development, youth community development, and staff in-service training. Roy was a key educator in special staff training programs including “Training Trainers to Teach”, “Volunteerism in Extension” and “New 4-H Staff Orientation.” According to a co-worker from his years in the State 4-H Office, Roy was “an excellent trainer for new 4-H staff, where many of them have gone on to long, successful Extension careers.” Roy believed in his work and it showed.

Professional recognition came with Roy being recognized as a National 4-H Fellow in 1968, being awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, and receiving the Epsilon Sigma Phi certificate of Meritorious Service.

In retirement, Roy has continued to provide leadership, time and expertise for different community needs. He and his wife Pat coordinated the Bethesda Community Food Pantry (Ames) for many years. He also has served as coordinator of volunteer ministries at his church, and is a member of Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance, Story County Housing, Ames Ecumenical Housing and the Hunger Collaboration committee with the United Way. Additionally, he has served on several church boards and committees, and has been active in several service clubs.

Another former co-worker shared that the best words to describe Roy Hougen include dedicated, thoughtful, articulate, and sincere. . . all with a great sense of humor!

Thank you Roy Hougen for your leadership to the Iowa 4-H Program.

2019 Wright County: Richard and Sue Hammen

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 4:10 PM

Richard (Rick) and Sue Hammen of Clarion were not youth members of 4-H, but their contributions to 4-H and the club in adulthood reach far and wide, and that's why they have been selected as Wright County's 2019 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame inductees. 

When Sue (who grew up in Belmond) and Rick (who grew up in Clarion) had their two daughters - Kelly and Katie, they quickly discovered 4-H would be a great opportunity for them to get involved. They loved living on the farm, working with the animals, and growing food from the land. 

"When the girls were small, we did the Farmer's Market in Clarion," said Sue. "It was a great learning experience. They learned how to prepare vegetables;talk about produce; and how to make change."

When the girls were old enough the girls joined the Lake Clovers 4-H club in Wright County. Sue and Rick became actively involved - behind the scenes, and they've stayed that way for the last 31 years.

The very first year, Rick (who was then and today continues to be on the Wright County Cattlemen's Board) volunteered to be part of the 4-H food stand at the Wright County Fair. After the first year, Rick started the campaign that raised the money to build the food stand we all know, love and appreciate today. Sue became the assistant 4-H leader of the Lake Clovers.

One might think after their kids became adults themselves, Sue and Rick would turn their 4-H reigns over to the next generation, but they haven't. Why? Because they truly love it. Because of this, in 2004 Rick was presented with the Wright County Honorary 4-H Award. Sue received the same recognition in 2009.

Today, they both remain actively involved. Sue serves as part of the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 4-H/FFA Buying Group. Rick and Sue together conduct the interviews for the Bucket Bottle Calf program. This year, that interview process will be even more enjoyable as their first granddaughter will be participating in the event - and there are more 'grands' coming up. But Sue and Rick agreed, saying, "Our favorite part of the Wright County Fair is watching all the kids grow and develop over the years."

Sue and Rick have sponsored the Rate of Gain for Beef Trophy, and one of their most memorable times stems from that. One year, a young man who competed all over the county and won many trophies came up to them after winning at the Wright County Fair and said, "Of all the trophies I've won, this one means the most." When they asked him why, he simply said, "because I know the people who gave it to me." It left a lasting impression with the Hammens. 

Knowing they are appreciated is all the thanks they have ever, or will ever need. They are happy making the 4-H Program and its Wright County participants successful behind the scenes. In fact, they honestly did not know why they had received the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame recognition and were humbled by the nomination. "it's all for the kids," said Rick of why they continue to be so involved. "We are overwhelmed," added Sue. "We don't feel we have done anything special to be recognized."



Posted in Wright, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Worth County: Curt Schaub

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:39 PM

Curt Schaub has been a loyal volunteer to the Worth County 4-H program in multiple ways.  He was a long time 4-H club leader of the Golden Banner 4-H club and is a member of the Worth County 4-H Committee. Curt served more than 20 years and multiple terms on the Worth County Extension Council. He can also be found every year at the Worth County Fair checking in 4-H and FFA members’ swine projects as they enter the show ring on judging day. 

Curt is an agriculture education graduate of Iowa State University and has been an excellent resource of information to young people with particular expertise in the livestock and crops areas. He has been an excellent role model to those in the Golden Banner 4-H club.  His family has had a very long and rich tradition of changing lives for the better in the Grafton and Manly areas. Curt is an extremely responsible and dedicated individual who has been serving in a multitude of ways in his local community and especially the Worth County 4-H program. His commitment to young people and youth education is commendable.

As a 4-H parent, Curt motivated his son, Michael, to excel in his 4-H livestock and non-livestock project work. Curt served on the 1971 State 4-H Council and encouraged his son Michael who served on the 2005 State 4-H Council. Michael was also a 2004 National 4-H Congress trip winner and won State 4-H Project Awards in swine, communications and leadership.

Posted in Worth, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Woodbury County: Cheryl Zobel

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:39 PM

Over the decades, Cheryl Zobel played an integral part in the Iowa 4-H program; her early years as a 4-H’er in Crawford County, later as parental support for her daughter who was a 4-H’er in Woodbury County, and over the last 27 years as a leader of the Good Luck Clovers 4-H club. 

Throughout these years, Cheryl has touched many young people’s lives.  She  encouraged them to not be afraid to think outside the box, dream big, and always take it a step farther. She has mentored and nurtured many a shy individual, giving them the confidence to express themselves and allow that inner leader to come forth.

She has inspired her members with challenges giving them a topic or idea and letting them make it their own.  She has supported them through all phases of their community projects including a flip-flop drive for children in Africa, baking cookies for US troops, fulfilling items from the Humane Society's wish list, and purchasing items and putting together personal care bags for the homeless at the Gospel Mission.

Cheryl was recognized by the Sioux City Journal in 2017 as an outstanding volunteer. In that article it is quoted, “There's no denying the passion that Cheryl Zobel has for

4-H."  Cheryl states, “They (the 4-H’ers) just make me feel so good," she said of the Good Luck Clovers as tears welled up in her eyes.  "Honestly," she continued, "I could have a down day and then I work with them on a project and they provide me with a sense of hope."

Whether it is fair time or working on record keeping, she is going around to her club member’s homes to review their projects and documentation, giving suggestions and encouragement. She tries to ensure the members have all the tools they need for their success.  Cheryl is committed to her club members as if they were her own children. She celebrates their victories, gives them encouragement when they are frustrated, and shares their disappointments.  She is always available to them.

Cheryl has also touched many lives outside the club as an achievement show judge and member of the Woodbury County Recognition Team. She has read countless record keeping applications and interviewed scores of candidates for awards. She also provided input for evaluating record keeping.  As a part of this group, she has met and influenced many other 4-H members in the county.

Cheryl has been married to Robert Zobel for 45 years. They has two daughters Jennie Zobel and Valori Zobel and a grandson Conor Zobel-Stevens.  Cheryl worked as the food service director for the hot lunch program at Holy Cross School – Blessed Sacrament Campus in Sioux City for over 30 years. 

Woodbury County 4-H would like to thank Cheryl Zobel for her dedication and years of service to the 4-H program.

Posted in Woodbury, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Winneshiek County: Ken and Sue Keune

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:38 PM

Ken and Sue Keune of Decorah joined the 4-H program in 1992, when their oldest daughter joined the Madison 4-H’ers club. As each of their four children entered into the program, Ken and Sue devoted years supporting the Madison 4-H’ers club attending and hosting meetings, participating in various club fundraising events, building parade floats, helping cook food for the club soup supper, chaperoning club trips, volunteering with fair activities, and evaluating record books. 

The highlight of the summer was always preparing for and enjoying the Winneshiek County Fair with their children. Both Ken and Sue spent time supporting their children with their fair projects and exhibits, teaching their children about baking, sewing, crafts, carpentry, and raising beef cattle. Both continue to enjoy meeting members of the community at the fair, volunteering in the 4-H café and other 4-H booths, judging fair contests, and supporting other 4-H members through the livestock auction. For Ken and Sue, most summers are not complete without a trip to the Iowa State Fair.

Ken and Sue have continued their involvement in 4-H joining various other 4-H committees in Winneshiek County. In 2001, Ken joined the Pine Bluff 4-H Camp board, which supports the youth camp that serves as an outdoor laboratory for schools, a retreat site for families and other groups, and a valuable forest and wildlife habitat. In 2005, Ken and Sue were founding members of the Winneshiek County 4-H Endowment Board, with the goal of ensuring a strong and vital 4-H program for years to come. The board works to support educational workshops and materials for 4-H members as well as provide financial assistance for youth to attend summer camps and conferences.

Additionally, in 2018, Ken and Sue helped to organize the first annual Winneshiek County “Friends of 4-H” Gala, with all proceeds going to providing scholarships to graduating 4-H members seeking higher education, supporting educational workshops, recognition awards and financial assistance for youth participating in summer camps, conferences and leadership training.

Ken and Sue have continued to support the 4-H program to ensure other children in Winneshiek County have the same great experiences as their children had over 18 years.

Posted in Winneshiek, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Winnebago County: Carol Peterson

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:37 PM

Carol Peterson’s love for 4-H began when she was a 4-H’er herself. She started working for Winnebago County Extension in 1980 as the Home Economist.  Later she added Director to her title and held that position until she retired in 2012 after 32 years.

Carol loved her job, and it showed in her work. She was well known throughout Winnebago and surrounding counties and quickly became the face of extension. Carol created long-lasting partnerships with local businesses and remained committed to her job. She started a number of programs in Winnebago County that are still going strong today. Family Fun Night was an event that began during the recession with the goal of bringing families together to have fun. 19 years later, it is still one of the well attended events Winnebago County has to offer.

She also helped start the Family Fall Festival; another well attended family event that takes place every October. Carol was instrumental in starting the community foundation. Winnebago County served as the administrative arm, publicizing the foundation and taking new grant applications.

Carol not only supported 4-H in her profession, but also in her free time. She began judging at local county fairs in the 1970’s and continued until 2018. Carol is now retired, but is still well-known within Winnebago County! Her work with Winnebago County Extension helped to build it into the program it is today!

Posted in Winnebago, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Webster County: Vernon Bauer

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:36 PM

Webster County is excited to nominate Vernon Bauer to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame. 4-H has been an important part most of Vernon’s life. He was a nine year 4-H member and showed chickens, sheep, and cows. He sang in the 4-H county chorus in the 1970s. The chorus met throughout the year and performed at the fair. Vernon was the runner-up fair king in 1977.

Following his years as a 4-H’er, Vernon became a club leader of the Gowrie Gamblers 4-H Club which was later changed to Gowrie Groundbreakers. He served as a club leader for many years and helped as a beef project superintendent. He passed on his love for 4-H when his three children, Phillip, Lisa, and Mark, were involved in the program. All of his children showed sheep and cattle.  He also chaperoned the Citizenship Washington Focus Trip to Washington D.C. in 2010.

Vernon has been a Webster County 4-H volunteer for 34 years. Throughout his years as a volunteer, most importantly, Vernon has enjoyed getting to know the kids.

We can’t thank him enough for his leadership, commitment, and passion over the years.

Congratulations, Vernon!

Posted in Webster, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Wayne County: Cindy Miller

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:27 PM

The 2019 Wayne County 4-H Hall of Fame inductee was a longtime 4-H member and a dedicated and effective volunteer for a much longer period of time.  She is known for her love of kids and love of horses.

Cindy Miller joined 4-H as a 9 year-old with her mother as club leader for several years.    She continued her participation with 4-H first as an informal adult volunteer. 

Cindy was instrumental in helping form the “Horse Interest Committee.”  The goal of this committee was to support horse project members providing more quality learning opportunities for the youth and to encourage and recognize excellence in caring for and riding horses.

Cindy soon became an “official 4-H leader” as she accepted the position of county horse project leader and horse superintendent.  Each summer she and another leader conducted workouts for horse project members and taught many youth horsemanship skills.  For several years she organized field trips to the Iowa Horse Fair.  She went above and beyond when she volunteered to spend several nights on the fairgrounds keeping an eye on all the horses. 

Cindy’s love of horses is as well-known as her commitment to providing positive and safe opportunities for kids.  When asked about Cindy as a leader, one former 4-H’er now a young professional responded, “she always gave us positive reinforcement no matter how we did.” And another commented, “She was always there for us and made sure we had fun.”

When a longtime dog project leader retired, and no one stepped forward to fill the role, Cindy agreed to add dog project leadership to her resume.  Additionally, she served on the 4-H Adult Committee for two terms and served  as president of the committee for several years.

Cindy was always very involved with kids and she loved seeing them grow and develop new learning and skills.  She considered all the youth she worked with as “her kids” and had a great friendship with both the kids and the parents.   If somebody needed anything from a tack repair, to a sandwich or to a pep talk, Cindy would be there for them!

Posted in Wayne, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Washington County: Shirley Pfeifer

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:26 PM

When Shirley Pfeiffer, 90, joined Emmet County 4-H as a high schooler, she had no inkling she was beginning a lifelong relationship. Her 4-H career began when her mother agreed to become leader of a girls’ club. Now, some 75 years later, the longtime Washington County resident continues to serve as the 4-H Garden Project leader.

From the beginning, Shirley’s interests and skills have been a natural fit with 4-H principles. Shirley describes a couple of projects for the standard three-year rotation of clothing, home improvement, and foods and nutrition. She sewed a wool plaid pleated skirt for the clothing year and changed her bedroom décor for home improvement. “I redid my room, painting the furniture green and white with rosebud decals,” Shirley recalled. “I used a rosebud fabric to make a dressing table skirt for a table made of two orange crates and a board to fit the top.” Her family’s involvement in 4-H included her sister, too, however she had stepped out of the traditional gender roles by joining a boys’ club due to her interest in showing cattle.

After college Shirley became an elementary art teacher in the Washington School District. When she and her husband, Fred, were married, they moved to a farm near Ainsworth in Washington County. A neighbor, Georgia White, asked her to co-lead the Sunshine Sisters girls 4-H club being formed. Their leadership lasted until all the girls  graduated.

Eventually, as Shirley raised her family, 4-H influenced a third generation. Her younger son showed hogs along with entomology and garden projects while one of her daughter’s food projects sticks in Shirley’s mind.  “One year my daughter and a friend demonstrated how to make baking powder biscuits. We ate biscuits all summer up to fair time!”

When Washington County’s garden project leader received a job transfer to Northrup King’s corn plant in Hawaii, local 4-H coordinator, Julia Gamon, asked Shirley to supervise that project and, in her words, “I’m still here!”

Shirley became a Master Gardener in 1989 to expand her knowledge for that project. In 1998 she earned the Ruby Clover for recognition for 30 years as a club and garden project leader. Now, in 2019, she’s tallied two more decades of service, totaling more than 50 years as a 4-H club and project volunteer.

Shirley is proud of the education 4-Hers received from the garden project on field trips to the ISU research farm near Fruitland in Muscatine County where they learned about research with tomatoes and potatoes. Shirley fondly recalls the many 4-H families she’s helped through the years to develop their gardens and gardening skills – truly a lifelong activity and commitment to others.

Posted in Washington, 2019 | Permalink
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