Posted on March 31, 2011 at 2:53 PM by Global Reach
In Grundy County, the names Ronald and Eileen Flater are synonymous with the word 4-H.
Ron Flater joined the Colfax Future Farmers 4-H Club in 1957 when he was 10 years old. In the summer, the county fair was all that Ron knew – he camped, he worked on his projects, and he spent time with 4-H friends.
Ron was also very involved with the 4-H Jamboree, presenting skits and speeches for all to see and hear.
In 1976 Ron joined the Extension Council, which he faithfully served for many years. He then joined the Grundy County Fair Board, where he has served as president for longer than many can remember.
Eileen’s 4-H roots began in a similar fashion. She joined 4-H as a member of the Palermo Clovers in 1957; ironically, she has now served as the club’s leader for 30 years. Growing up, she also served as a Grundy County officer, which is comparable to County Council today.
Eileen joined the youth committee in 1976, where she helped develop 4-H in Grundy County to where it is today.
As a couple, Ron and Eileen have not forgotten their 4-H roots and actively support 4-H and FFA at the local, state, and national levels.
The couple shared their passion of the program with their four kids and encouraged them in both 4-H and FFA. The 4-H fever was obviously not lost as their oldest daughter now serves as Grundy County 4-H Youth Coordinator, and their youngest son earned the highest level of honor in FFA, the American degree.
Over the years, the Flaters have chaperoned numerous 4-H events, dances, and trips, and every time they show up with smiles on their faces. They constantly encourage 4-Hers to do their best and are always the first to volunteer when help is needed. If questions need to be answered, the Flaters are there to help solve the problem.
Ron and Eileen truly enjoy getting to know the 4-H youth and their families in the county. It is impossible for them to walk on the fairgrounds without getting stopped by people to say hello – their 4-H faces are instantly recognizable.
Grundy County 4-H would not be the same without the Flaters – their support, dedication, and love of the program has raised the bar of 4-H. Their names are true synonyms to all that 4-H represents.