Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on March 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM by Global Reach

2004 Benton County - Royal Tuttle"A 4-H leader receives more than he gives." Those were the words of Royal Tuttle of Norway explaining his 40 years of leadership in 4-H club work in Benton County.  In the '30s when the Florence Hawkeyes 4-H Club was organized by Tuttle, the country was in a depression. Com was selling for 10 cents a bushel and severe drought compounded the farmers' problems. When approached to start a 4-H club in Florence Township Royal readily agreed, and he continued his leadership for 40 years.

A study of membership rolls indicates that as many as 200 young men and women were touched by his leadership. The club won many honors in those 40 years:
•    Grand Champions and Reserve Grand Champions in livestock shows at thecounty and state fairs
•    Reserve Grand Champion steer at the Chicago International Livestock
•    Many championship demonstration teams
•    In 1958 they were judged the outstanding 4- H club in Benton County for their project on com harvest safety.
•    In 1959 they received the General Motors Co. "Merit and Outstanding
Achievement in National Farm Safety" award.
•    Many club members served as county 4-H officers.

Royal Tuttle's greatest reward in club work was being around young people. According to him, "The real payoff in being a 4-H leader is when a club member takes his or her place of responsibility in the local community, or in another community." He also felt that the real goal of 4-H club work is "to make Blue Ribbon boys and girls, rather than Blue Ribbon livestock."

Royal Tuttle's service to his community extended beyond 4-H. In 1977 the Heritage Agency on Aging named him Benton County's Outstanding Senior Citizen. He was active in his church and was a strong supporter of Norway High School students.  In his 93 years he never gave up his optimistic outlook, and he never stopped believing in young people.

A few personal notes of interest:
•    Royal Tuttle was the first man from Benton County to enlist in the army in
World War 1.
•    He was the first farmer in Benton County to plant Hi-Bred seed com, and he sold Pioneer Seed Com for 32 years.
•    Royal and his brother Otis were well known for their herd of purebred Hereford cattle, a herd they started in 1917.

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Categories: Benton

As my brother and sister in-law, Dwight & Bonnie Sanders, have been nominated to this august group of 4-H enthusiasts, I am thrilled to learn about the 4-H Hall of Fame and to know that they are in the Hall with the likes of Royal. He was a Benton County 4-H icon when Dwight, Bonnie and I were in 4-H in the 1960's. What is not mentioned above is that he frequently was a counsellor at Benton County 4-H Summer Camp in Julys while other farmers were working on their farms. And he was there by popular demand of the Benton County 4-H Youth as he was beloved by all of us. I am only 18 years late with this, but I wanted to express my thanks to and respect to a man who is fondly remembered and highly respected and who I am honored to have known. Thank you, Royal!
Doyle Sanders | 3/20/23 at 3:16 AM
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