2015 Dallas County- Linda Nelson

Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees

2015 Dallas County- Linda Nelson

 

Linda Nelson started as a 4H member in Montgomery County as a Frankfort Clovia Clan. She said at that time there were separate girls and boys clubs but if a girl wanted to show livestock she joined in both a girls and boys club.  The girls clubs would work primarily in three areas, Food and Nutrition, Home Furnishings and Clothing.  This strong background is what led to her career in Home Economics and later with Iowa State University Extension.

Some of her fondest memories of 4-H are skating parties, camping as a 4-H club and attending 4-H camp.

Linda said 4-H is important because it offers a safe place to try new things. The opportunity to try new things lets youth focus on areas of their interest. 4-H members can have experiences beyond the family and club through state activities as well as having opportunities to participate in national events.

Linda worked hard to get the referendum passed in Dallas County to expand funding for extension.  The referendum was brought to vote 5 times before it was passed.  During this time she often thought outside of the box to keep the 4-H program strong and growing.  She worked with the County Board of Supervisors to provide money for 4-H programming  as well as working with the Dallas County Conservation Board through a special agreement to hire a shared conservation position who would also do 4-H youth programming.   Linda, along with a group of volunteers started the “Silent Auction” held during the county fair to raise funds to support the referendum effort.   After the referendum was passed they continued the Silent Auction and started the Dallas County 4–H Endowment and set it up with the Iowa 4-H Foundation.  They have used the money raised to support 4-H members’ participation in activities beyond the county such as the Citizen Washington Focus trip.  They also provide members and clubs with financial support for larger citizenship projects.  Under Linda’s direction, the group also helped with improvements to the county fairgrounds.. 

During her time as County Director, Linda dealt with the flooding of the fairgrounds during the county fair as well as an outbreak of erysipelas.  She encouraged clubs and members to take on leadership projects such as organizing a county wide basketball tournament. She helped volunteers develop a checklist for fair preparation and create ID sheets to use for small animals such as pets and poultry.

 A previous Dallas County 4-H member said, “Whenever something needed to be done Linda was always there helping to get it done”

08/23/2015 9:34 AM |Add a comment
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