Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM by Global Reach

2008 Buchanan County - Richard FryeDick was a 10 year member of the Buchanan County 4-H program in Iowa as a youth.  He served on the County Extension Council for several years and was a Buchanan County Fair Board member for over 40 years, serving as president for many of those years.

Bruce Bearinger, Buchanan County CEED, had the following to say about Dick:
“Dick Frye had many passions in life.  He will probably be remembered most for being a great farmer, spouse, father, and grandfather.  He made many friends over the years through his passion for racing and county fairs.  I count myself as one of those many friends.  However, it is often work done behind the scenes and those many thankless jobs that measure the true character and dedication of a man.  

Dick’s love for 4-H was expressed by all of the behind the scene work and thankless jobs he did for the Buchanan County 4-H program and I want you all to know one simple example of his legacy.

When I first started as CEED in Buchanan County I was uncertain of my role in the county fair.  I decided to meet with Dick and discuss his view on the partnership between the extension office and the fair board.  In that short hour my level of comfort was increased ten fold.  Dick Frye had a way of calming any situation.  His gentle humor and thoughtful relaxed style of conversation showed his true wisdom as the leader for the Buchanan County Fair.  

Dick spent a great deal of time in the livestock barns during the county fair.  I remember one year on the morning of the beef show.  Dick was looking over the animals and talking with friends and he noticed a young 4-Her having difficulty getting the calf from his cow-calf project into the show ring.  Dick calmly walked up to the ten year old 4-Her and asked him where he could find the calf’s mother.  Dick told the young man to hold tight and he went back to the stall and grabbed the mother cow.  He led the cow out in front of the calf and low and behold the calf stopped bellowing and calmly followed the cow into the show ring.  Dick did not know this young 4-H member and he could have stood there like everyone else wondering where the boy’s parents were, but he didn’t even stop to think, he simply took over the situation and showed the young man that he had a friend he could count on.  That young man has since grown up and is now on the beef committee.  He told me this story last year and named that story as one of the main reasons he volunteers in the 4-H program.  This story is one of many examples of Dick’s simple wisdom and willingness to do whatever it takes to help all 4-Her’s be a success and to realize that we are all a part of a family when we come to the fair

The 4-H program lost a great friend, but his actions are timeless.  I am sure that the strength of our 4-H program in the future will owe a great deal to the man that would help a stranger to show his passion for youth development and learning.”

He was a founding member of the Midwest Show Calf Producers group that sought to raise the prices the 4-H youth of Iowa were paid for their champion beef livestock projects at the Iowa State Fair.  He was an advocate of 4-H and the positive attributes it fostered in young people.  He assisted many youth over the years getting them started with livestock projects by providing the animal and helping them with the financing of the project.

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