Posted on April 7, 2011 at 12:58 PM by Global Reach
Lettie Thrift was a part of 4-H as a member in Mills County, Iowa, when it first started in 1922. Lettie knew the Superintendent of Schools in neighboring Wright and Page Counties, O.H. Benson and Mrs. Jessie Field-Shambaugh, where 4-H club work was introduced into schools in 1906. Lettie’s mother, Mrs. W. S. Bradley, was one of the first leaders of a poultry club with Lettie as a member. This was the beginning of many years of very active 4-H work for Lettie.
Lettie became the Mills County 4-H President in 1925. She won a trip to the National Club Congress in 1930 and also in that year, she and her brother, Will, were an outstanding demonstration team for poultry and won the State Championship. A newspaper quote stated they “showed the strength that can come from parent-leader relationships and hard work” – an essential element we continue to stress today. Lettie’s success in winning first place in a Record contest sponsored by the Poultry Tribune earned her a scholarship to Iowa State College where she received a degree in dietetics.
Lettie worked as a dietician in Michigan before marrying and returning to western Iowa to raise seven children. Lettie became a 4-H club leader in 1953. She returned to work in 1956 as Monona County Extension Home Economist and was closely involved with the county 4-H clubs for the next 23 years before her retirement. She judged many county fairs and was a well respected judge at the Iowa State Fair .Lettie passed away in 2003, only a few weeks from her 90th birthday.