Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM by Global Reach

2009 Des Moines County - Howard KeitzerHoward Keitzer attended his first 4-H meeting in 1945 with his father but his father disapproved of 4-H and he was not allowed to join.  Later in 1947 he joined the Mediapolis Junior Farmers at age 12 and his father later became a supporter of the 4-H program.  During his 4-H career he raised 440 hogs, several head of cattle and had projects in farm electrification.   His shortened 4-H career cumulated with a trip to Chicago as a delegate for Iowa to the National 4-H Club Congress in 1955.  Howard wrote in his 1955 4-H story “This event will long be remembered in my mind for it proved to be a thrill of a lifetime”.
Howard began his lifelong farming career right out of high school.  He has served as a 4-H leader for the club that he once was a member and has been very active in many community organizations.  He was a founding member of the Des Moines County Pork Producers.    Howard served on the Des Moines County Fair Board for 18 years in the position of various officers including president.  During his tenure on the Board, the fairgrounds were taken over by a new four-lane highway that came through Burlington.  Several fairs were held in temporary facilities including sale barns and tents.  After several years of investigating different facility options, Howard and a core group of Board members decided to form a partnership and pool funds with Southeastern Community College to build a mutual set of facilities that would serve both entities.  At that time this was a new idea with these two public entities joining together and it took several legal rulings and changes to allow this to happen.  Howard was instrumental in leading this project.  A new agency was set up to manage these facilities called the College County Fair Joint Agency and Howard was a founding director.   Howard served as president of the fair when the new grounds were dedicated in the mid 1970’s.  Howard has volunteered countless hours painting, repairing, and setting up equipment to make the Des Moines County Fair run smoothly.

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Categories: Des Moines

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