2008 Page County - Don Williams

Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees

2008 Page County - Don Williams

 

Don WilliamsThroughout his life, Don Williams was an ardent supporter of 4-H at the county, state, national and international level. He was a nine-year member of the Valley Boosters 4-H club. During that period, he was president, reporter, secretary-treasurer, and historian. Don was also elected as the vice-president for the Page County 4-H Boy’s club.

Don received many awards for his livestock projects, such as Champion Pen of Three Fat Lambs and top swine showman, and his records books, such as district winner for the field crops division. In 1955, Don was the high scoring individual in the livestock judging contest at the Iowa State Fair. His score of 555 points out of a possible 600 was the best ever made to that point.

In June 1957, Don attended the National 4-H Conference at Washington D.C., one of four Iowa delegates. He was chosen for the honor based on his record books and a personal interview. Later that month at the State 4-H Boy’s Short Course, Don was elected the State President of the 25,000 member 4-H Boy’s Club.

While president of the Iowa 4-H Boy’s Club, Don received one of two state 4-H Leadership awards made to outstanding club members. When he was asked about his leadership, Don thought responsibility was the most important quality. “After a person has become a responsible individual, it isn’t too hard to develop the other qualities it takes to become a leader,” he observed.

In 1959, Don traveled to Costa Rica as Iowa’s representative for the International Four-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) for an in-depth cultural experience. In one of his letters to the newspaper, he wrote, “They had me sing two songs for them at one of the parties, the first time in my life that I ever sang a solo, probably the last.” He continued, “Young hog farmers would be out of luck here. The largest herd of hogs I have seen is four.”

After returning to the farm near Villisca, Iowa, Don continued his involvement with 4-H by leading the Valley Boosters 4-H Club and serving on the Page County fair board. During the 1980s, he was a member of the State 4-H Foundation board and executive committee. While on the board, he helped establish the 4-H 400 Donor Club program. Don was also a founding member of the Order of the Knoll in 1987, Iowa State University's most prestigious donor recognition society. Members of the Order of the Knoll believe in creating opportunities to transform lives at Iowa State University.

Throughout his life, Don Williams was an ardent supporter of 4-H at the county, state, national and international level. He was a nine-year member of the Valley Boosters 4-H club. During that period, he was president, reporter, secretary-treasurer, and historian. Don was also elected as the vice-president for the Page County 4-H Boy’s club.

Don received many awards for his livestock projects, such as Champion Pen of Three Fat Lambs and top swine showman, and his records books, such as district winner for the field crops division. In 1955, Don was the high scoring individual in the livestock judging contest at the Iowa State Fair. His score of 555 points out of a possible 600 was the best ever made to that point.

In June 1957, Don attended the National 4-H Conference at Washington D.C., one of four Iowa delegates. He was chosen for the honor based on his record books and a personal interview. Later that month at the State 4-H Boy’s Short Course, Don was elected the State President of the 25,000 member 4-H Boy’s Club.

While president of the Iowa 4-H Boy’s Club, Don received one of two state 4-H Leadership awards made to outstanding club members. When he was asked about his leadership, Don thought responsibility was the most important quality. “After a person has become a responsible individual, it isn’t too hard to develop the other qualities it takes to become a leader,” he observed.

In 1959, Don traveled to Costa Rica as Iowa’s representative for the International Four-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) for an in-depth cultural experience. In one of his letters to the newspaper, he wrote, “They had me sing two songs for them at one of the parties, the first time in my life that I ever sang a solo, probably the last.” He continued, “Young hog farmers would be out of luck here. The largest herd of hogs I have seen is four.”

After returning to the farm near Villisca, Iowa, Don continued his involvement with 4-H by leading the Valley Boosters 4-H Club and serving on the Page County fair board. During the 1980s, he was a member of the State 4-H Foundation board and executive committee. While on the board, he helped establish the 4-H 400 Donor Club program. Don was also a founding member of the Order of the Knoll in 1987, Iowa State University's most prestigious donor recognition society. Members of the Order of the Knoll believe in creating opportunities to transform lives at Iowa State University.

In 2002, Don was elected to the Page County Extension Council. He served on the Youth Development Committee and the Building Committee. During his tenure, Page County Extension coordinated and led the Southwest Iowa Citizenship Washington Focus trip, a first, and the Extension Council purchased the office building.

Don William’s 4-H legacy continues. As befitting him, Don endowed a Page County 4-H leadership award and led a fundraising campaign to provide $1,000 scholarships for outbound IFYE representatives shortly before his passing in 2007.

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