Posted on March 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM by Global Reach
Charles was raised with a family that supported 4-H and was active in 4-H himself while growing up. He attended Iowa State University, leaving to serve in the U.S. Air Force as an officer and later in the Reserves branch. With his tour of duty completed, he returned to graduate from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Animal Science in December of 1956. He then returned to Wapello County where he began farming and promoting good stewardship of the land through conservation, and continues to do so today, helping his two sons in the family farm operation, which also includes a Century Farm.
Charles became a 4-H leader in the 1960’s for the Southeast Wapello 4-H Club before his own children were old enough to join 4-H. He was very involved in all aspects and continued as a leader throughout 1980. His six children, Cindi Dale of Knoxville; Jodi Johnson of Lynnville; Bill Swanson of Ottumwa; Connie Lind of Agency; Don Swanson of Ottumwa; and Debb Campbell of Batavia, were all active 4-H members and they continue to be involved today in 4-H activities as well. Charles is also the very proud Grandpa of 16 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, many of whom were and are currently involved in 4-H. Throughout the years, he has continued to volunteer and actively support Wapello County 4-H.
Charles has been president of the Wapello County Farm Bureau and continues to serve on the board of directors. He is active in promoting Farm Bureau’s Ag-in-the-Classroom program by volunteering in their many activities to help educate our youth about agriculture. He is also an officer of the Wapello County Cattlemen and actively supports the 4-H through auctioning trophies and cakes at the Cattlemen’s annual banquet; providing steak sandwiches during the cattle and horse shows at the 4-H Expo at no charge to the 4-H members; grilling lunch for volunteers during the cleanup day at the fair; as well as fundraising for 4-H premium pool money with grilling activities through out the year. He has also been actively involved in his church, serving on many committees.
The Wapello County Cattlemen sponsor a grant to a first year bucket bottle calf project member in memory of a longtime cattle producer in Wapello County. Charles was instrumental in coordinating this effort. He has also taken part in the selection of the 4-H recipient. This is a great example of just one of the many things Charles has worked for to give a 4-Her an opportunity they may not have had otherwise.
Just last week, the Expo Board was in need of immediate help to move gates, scales, and other Expo equipment. At the drop of a hat, Charles and many other volunteers came to our rescue with a truck and manpower.
Throughout his life, Charles has continued to volunteer and actively support 4-H. He is very willing to help in any form whenever asked. Charles devotes much of his time to 4-H and agriculture groups because of his love of farming and agriculture. He takes pleasure in sharing that enjoyment and his experiences with others to help educate future 4-H’ers.