Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 7, 2011 at 12:58 PM by Global Reach

Lettie ThriftLettie 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.

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Categories: Monona

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