Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on March 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM by Global Reach

2003 State Recognition - Don MuhmDon Muhm was a member of the Amsterdam Booster’s 4-H Club in Hancock County from 1941- 1943 just prior to World War II.  His projects included market lambs and market steers.  

As the farm editor of the Des Moines Register and Tribune, Don annually hosted the newspaper’s bon voyage reception for Iowa’s delegates to the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.  The Des Moines Register has sponsored the National 4-H Conference trip every year since it began.

For many of those years, Don also served on the interview committee to select the delegates to National Conference.  Don also reported on their experiences and impressions of the conference.  One year, the delegates expressed disappointment at the proceedings, saying they had expected much more than they were getting out of the conference. This story caused a review of the conference structure and its purpose, and eventually led to a decision to add adult delegates to the conference – both professional 4-H and youth specialists as well as long-time, dedicated 4-H volunteers.  This was one of the most significant changes in the history of the 4-H Conference, which has been held since 1927 (except for the World War II emergency).

During the 33 years that Don was the farm editor of the Des Moines Register, Don provided extensive coverage of the 4-H program.  Don estimates that he has interviewed thousands of 4-H’ers during his years as a newspaper farm editor.  “The vast majority of these were decent, honest, talented, successful young people of a caliber you’d hope to find in your own family.”

Don was the president and newsletter editor of the Newspaper Farm Editors of America for 15 years.  He served as chairman of the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee and as chairman of the United Methodist Church Council of Ministries and a lay leader.  He also served on the ISU College of Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Board.  In 1993, Iowa awarded Don with the Iowa 4-H Alumni Award.

Don and his wife Joanne live in Des Moines.  They are the parents of 3 sons, Maury, Robert and Scott and six grandchildren.  Since his retirement he has written a number of histories of Iowa organizations.  He also has always had a love of fishing, hunting and golf.

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Categories: State Recognition

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