Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM by Global Reach

Connie MeyerMany families and friends walk the winding roads and bike trail under the oak trees of Hillside Cemetery If you find the right spot, you will see a headstone showing a farm scene and the 4-H emblem centered at the bottom of the farm. No one but the family knows that the Guernsey cow engraved on the stone was a State Fair 4-H grand champion and the hogs were also 4-H winners. This gravestone represents how 4-H shaped the lives of Connie Meyer’s family.

Connie Klousia and Wendell Meyer married, farmed near Bradford, and raised seven children as a 4-H family. In 1946 Connie’s high school yearbook predicted that she would become the National 4-H Director; however, her feet and heart remained deeply rooted in Franklin County. She mentored many young people as a volunteer 4-H leader and served on the Franklin County Extension Council. Connie received the “Award of the Clover” in 1983 for her 30 years of service in 4-H and the “Hampton Chamber of Commerce Award” for her long-term service to 4-H in 1997.
In November, 1979, the Hampton Chronicle wanted a feature story on a 4-H-minded family. Wendell and Connie Meyer’s family was chosen. Both parents were 4-H’ers and all seven children were actively involved in multiple 4-H projects. These 4-H projects inspired some career choices made by their children. Wendell passed away soon after this article was published and Connie still had four children to raise at home. Her oldest sons stepped up and took over the farm work and livestock. The other children moved on but have not forgotten their 4-H roots and their ties to their Century Farm.
Connie continued as an active volunteer for many community projects in Franklin County. She was Grant Twp. Representative and life member of the Franklin County Historical Society and 1993 President of the Hampton Ladies Cemetery Aid Society. Her Klousia family donated land that became the “WKW County Park” and she also made financial contributions to the restoration of the county courthouse and other county historical projects. She coordinated and supported ~20 volunteers for the Pleasant Hill Historical Village at the county fair. Each year from 1991-1995 the Community Education Advisory Council recognized Connie for services rendered to the Hampton Community Education Center and North Iowa Area Community College in the advancement of lifelong learning.  
Shortly after Connie Meyer passed away, Connie (Klein) Tjelmeland, a neighbor and a 1960’s  4-H member wrote in a letter, “We learned many things from those 4-H meetings. Connie showed us farm kids could feel a part of something larger than ourselves. She expected us to take seriously the responsibility of club offices. We learned speaking and writing skills. She encouraged advancement and praised our efforts at the fair.  She enjoyed people and had a merry spirit. She was a mentor for me, my sisters, and the girls in our community. Connie had interests in many things and brought the intensity of her interests to the girls she mentored. Her impact on us was huge and for this I will always be grateful.
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Categories: Franklin

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