Posted on April 5, 2011 at 1:14 PM by Global Reach
Judith Kruse Tonderum started with 4-H as a ten year old in the Farmer’s Creek Jolly Juniors 4-H Club, in Jackson County, of which her mother was a 4-H leader. It was while a 4-H member, she learned to keep accurate records, bake bread, make pie curst, and construct a garment, and give illustrated talks and demonstrations. Judith completed six years of club work. The highlight was being selected for the Prestigious Mueller award trip to Canada sponsored by the local Mueller Farm store for being an outstanding 4-H member.
As the proud parent of four kids, Judith spent fourteen years supporting their 4-H activities and sixteen years a 4-H leader of their club. All of her kids expelled in their 4-H activities, particularly educational presentations and Clothing Selection. After the kids were in school in the 1970’s, Judith was hired and became the 4-H Program Assistant in Jackson County. She felt lucky to be hired by John E. Henderson, a longtime County Extension Director and began her love affair with the 4-H’ers and families for fifteen years. While being a 4-H Program Assistant, she was proud to say the Jackson County had thirty-three 4-H clubs and to call them by their name. She enjoyed working with each year’s 4-H County Council group where many activities and events were instigated, some of which exist yet today. The 1976 County Council initiated the Sweetheart Ball and the 1977 County Council organized the first Share the Fun program. Judith’s proudest achievement as a Program Assistant was to inspire enough 4-H’ers to fill the charter busses for participation in Citizenship busses to Des Moines and Washington D.C., and for the Interstate Exchanges. Many lasting friendships continue among the exchange families. Judith also took the opportunity to become a fair judge for exhibits, Fashion Revue and Clothing Selection, as will was her favorite, Communication. She has eighteen years of judging experience under her 4-H chevron!
After leaving Extension employment, Judith was elected to the County Extension Council where she promoted the crucial tax referendum and was a part of the hiring for a new County Extension Director. Judith has been a member of the Jackson County Fair Board since 1991. She has been very active on various fair committees and fair activities. These include the Open Class Show and Bill Riley Talent Search, and helps format the Open Fair Book each year. Judith has been a member the Red Cross, Families of Northeast Iowa, and the Gannon Mental Health Board. She was in the first Master Gardener class in Jackson County serving as president and leadership roles on various committees. She is very active with her church group who are small, but very mighty.
Judith still helps with 4-H activities such as the 4-H Project Fair and many other activities in Jackson County. Judith is glad to have had 4-H be a part of her life as a youth as well as an adult. She has gained so much from the 4-H program.