Posted on March 31, 2011 at 2:40 PM by Global Reach
Ken & Marilyn Nielsen own and operate KC Nielsen LTD, a John Deere implement dealership in Humboldt, Iowa. Both Ken and Marilyn grew up in Humboldt County and have raised their family in Humboldt as well. Ken was a member of the Grove Township 4-H Club and showed livestock at the Humboldt County Fair.
Marilyn’s father, O.I. Carlson, taught school in Castana, Iowa, after graduating from Iowa State University, then moved to Monona County as an Iowa State University Extension Agent for 3 years. He then moved to Humboldt County Extension in 1943 to continue as an Iowa State University Extension Agent. In 1947, Mr. Carlson moved into being a John Deere dealer in Humboldt, Iowa. He started supporting 4-H programs from that year forward. Mr. Carlson established the First Year 4-H Member Award program, which is for 4-Hr’s that completed their first year in 4-H and have enrolled to continue in 4-H.
The first years Mr. Carlson’s award was taking the 4-Hr’s to the John Deere production plant at Waterloo, Iowa. After several years, the trip was a Fun Day at Clear Lake, with picnics, swimming, and games.
Ken & Marilyn joined the John Deere dealership in 1960 and have continued the First Year 4-H Member Award program for 4-Hr’s ever since. When the production plant tours were not available to young 4-Hr’s, the Nielsen’s used the Happy Joe’s Pizza Parlor in Fort Dodge for fun with Clowns and Clown Face painting.
In the 1980’s, the Nielsen’s started having a ventriloquist, Elaine Elm, be the fun entertainment for the First Year 4-H Member Award program. The program has been held at the Pasquale’s Pizza restaurant in Humboldt ever since then, and still continues today.
The Nielsen’s also helped begin and sponsor Farm Safety training for 4-H Youth in Humboldt County.
Ken and Marilyn have been strong supporters at the Humboldt County Fair each year. For several years they have purchased many 4-H livestock projects
at the Humboldt County Fair Livestock Auction.
Ken said their office staff and employees have been a big part of 4-H over the years. Many employees have been 4-H families, and their John Deere implement dealership has enjoyed sponsoring 4-H programs and Humboldt Fair events.