Posted on August 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM by Global Reach
Dee Ann (Jensen) Bierstedt began her 4-H career at the age of nine. Her parents, encouraged her to use the four H’s of the club pledge, head, heart, hands and health, to contribute to her community and world. She was active in the Swea-Harrison Boy’s 4-H club in Kossuth County and loved showing hogs and cattle at the fair. She was her “dad’s boy” and refused to show any “girly” exhibits as a 4-Her.
She met many people that have remained lifelong friends through 4-H. While a teen, she met and later married, Duane Jensen, the 4-H County President. The couple had five children who were all very active 4-H members, Jim, Jodee, Jana, Jason, and Jeff.
In 1972, Dee Ann and Duane Jensen, alongside 3 other couples, began the first co-ed club in Kossuth County named the Co-Ed Kids. She helped make the Co-Ed Kids a club where all kids felt welcome and had a great deal of fun. They did everything from learning to refinish furniture to showing livestock. There was never a dull moment in this club, learning to take the ordinary adventures of life to extraordinary special events for all its members. The club truly had a family focus.
After the loss of her husband and her children were all in school, Dee Ann returned to college to update her degree and went back to teaching in several school systems. She went on to get her Master’s degree. After retiring, she continues as a substitute teacher in the area.
In 1991, Dee Ann married a 4-H friend, Jim Bierstedt. She had known Jim as a 4-H’er, leader and through the 4-H Partner Calf Program. Jim has four children, Judi, Alan, Vicki and Jason who were also encouraged to be involved in 4-H and extended Dee Ann’s commitment to the program.
Dee Ann has supported 4-H as a volunteer club leader, as a member of the Youth Committee, as a mentor, and as a 4-H judge. You could see Dee Ann judging where she was needed at the fair, whether that was in visual arts, citizenship, leadership, food and nutrition, home improvement, science and engineering, or photography. She also helped judge achievement shows, and judged at the state fair level. Dee Ann volunteers as the building superintendent for the 4-H static exhibits at the Kossuth county fair as well. She is a woman driven to help 4-Hers be successful in their projects and has been influential in assisting many children as they learn life skills and become useful citizens.
Dee Ann Bierstedt has been a dedicated member, leader, and friend to the 4-H program for over 60 years in Kossuth County. She has influenced many young people and truly believes children are our future.