Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 21, 2011 at 1:12 PM by Global Reach

Royce and Charlotte BonnichsenA lifetime 4-Her….that’s how Charlotte describes her involvement in the program.  The ISU Extension Yearbooks in Louisa County show her as a 1st year 4-Her in 1944.  She was a member of the Live Wires, a club in the Wyman area, for the next 7 years.

Later as a mom she eagerly supported 4-H as a leader and for years worked with her own 3 daughters and scores of other girls. Again, a check of the record books shows that Charlotte was a registered leader for the Sparklers in the Columbus City area.  And although never a boys club leader, you can be sure that Charlotte was a big help a few years later when her son went thru 4-H in Louisa County.  Many might guess that Charlotte’s favorite subject area in 4-H would have been the cooking as she now runs the Fair Diner in Louisa County, but she says she enjoyed the sewing the most. 

Some volunteers quietly fade away after being club leaders for their own children, but not Charlotte.  During the 70’s and 80’s her name again appears in the Youth Committee, and in fact she chaired the committee for many years, including during the time that she and husband Royce headed up the Hog Barn Project at the Louisa County Fairgrounds.  And together Charlotte and Royce  are of course proud parents, grandparents and now great-grandparents of Louisa County 4-Hers!

Ahhh….Royce.  What was his 4-H background?  Completely different!  Royce was a farmer, but never a 4-Her himself.  (At least not technically.)  But in the mid-70’s it is duly noted that Mr. Royce Bonnichsen was given an honorary 4-H Membership at an Annual Banquet that year, which makes his blood as green as the rest of us.

Since leading the Hog Barn Project Royce and Charlotte have been integral parts of every Fair – both the 4-H part of the Fair and the “Open” part of the Fair.  Royce chaired the Fair Board for many years, still serves on the Board and spends many hours on the Fairgrounds helping prepare for and run the Fair. And you can’t spend a day at the Fair without seeing Charlotte cooking at the Diner!

In many ways Royce and Charlotte truly have given their head, hearts, hands and health to the 4-H program in Louisa County and for that, the 4-Hers in Louisa County and the ISU Extension Council are eternally grateful.

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Categories: Louisa

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