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

Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees

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

2019 Warren County: Kathy McCoy

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:25 PM

Kathy (McCormick) McCoy grew up in Warren County where she was a 9 year 4-H member.  Her roles on the county and state levels have been crucial to Warren County and Iowa 4-H success. Kathy is married to Tim McCoy and has 4 children who are in or have been involved in 4-H. Starting off in 4-H at just 9-years old, Kathy would take up to 20 static exhibits to the fair every year while also showing livestock.  Giving her first 4-H presentation at the county level was what sparked a passion for communications.  

During her high school days Kathy became active not only on her County and Area 4-H Councils, but on the state and national level as well. While on County Council in Warren County, she helped start Clover Buds. This program would later take off at the State 4-H level and is one of the reasons we have Clover Kids today!

During Kathy’s senior year of high school, she was selected to represent the state of Iowa at the National 4-H Congress. While there, she was awarded the National 4-H Educational Scholarship based on achievement in leadership, citizenship and communications. Of the 1,700 applicants, only 68 were selected to receive scholarships.

Kathy was on State 4-H Council for 2 years and was a state 4-H officer. When Kathy was on State Council she worked with a local news station to video all 4-H’ers at State 4-H Conference as they chanted, “Good Morning America” for the national TV show.  Hearing 1,000 4-Hers chant “Good Morning America!” was a pretty fun way to end State 4-H Conference. 

In the later years of her 4-H career, Kathy also traveled to Norway for a month-long exchange program.  In 1985, she applied to be on paid staff for the 4-H Communications Department at the Iowa State Fair. This staff position evolved from running working exhibits to later being the communications intern for all communication events.  During this time, she became the 4-H Clothing Superintendent.  2018 Iowa State Fair marked her 28th year! Ironically, her daughter Hannah is serving as the communications intern this year.

For the past 30 years, Kathy has served as a 4-H communications judge for countless county fairs and the Iowa State Fair. When her kids became old enough for 4-H she started the Clover Kids club in her area and then moved on to be a 4-H club leader.  She has served as the Warren County Superintendent for the 4-H building, clothing events and communications programs for the past 10 years.

The 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus trip is one of the 4-H experiences that she encourages all youth to attend. Kathy attended as a youth and has since chaperoned the trip twice.  Kathy feels it is a trip of a lifetime that kids can not only learn from, but can bring back changes along with new ideas for their communities.   

Kathy graduated from Grand View College with a mass communications degree and worked for a non-profit for 10 years as their Communications Director. While there she completed her Master’s Degree from Drake University.  No matter what service project, workshop or meeting Kathy is helping with, she always makes sure the kids come first and is always willing to go above and beyond for others. Kathy, thank you for all your years of hard work and dedication to 4-H’ers and the 4-H program.

Posted in Warren, 2019 | Permalink

2019 Wapello County: Elaine Heisdorffer

Posted on 08/19/2019 at 2:24 PM

Elaine Heisdorffer began her passion for 4-H when she was a child. Her Mother Hilda (2002 Hall of Fame Inductee) passed on her commitment for 4-H to Elaine.  When she joined the Keokuk County 4-H program, she was a member of an all-girls club.

After graduating from High School Elaine attended Iowa State University for a short time before marrying Galen Heisdorffer.

Galen and Elaine settled down in rural Wapello County. They had 2 boys and Elaine passed her love of 4-H on to their sons, Ross and Eric.

She also became a 4-H leader of the Agency Agrinauts 4-H Club providing leadership 8 years for the club.

Elaine still volunteers with the Wapello County 4-H program, and is also a 10 year member of the Wapello County Extension Council.

Elaine and her son Eric are leaders of the Dog Project and have successfully run that program for 12 years which is still going strong.

Elaine is the first person to step up and help with anything needed for 4-H. Just like her mother Hilda, Elaine bleeds green!

Posted in Wapello, 2019 | Permalink
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