Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 8:56 AM by Global Reach

Ralph & Junellyn PierceFour generations of family, in East Pottawattamie 4-H, began with the 4-H club memberships of Ralph and Junellyn Pierce in the 1930’s.  Ralph remembers his 4-H calf falling over and breaking off its horn, one year, so he was unable to show it.  He also remembers traveling to Ames to play with a 4-H baseball team.  Junellyn made a footstool from a walnut plank her dad made.  She sanded and sanded and sanded her footstool, yet received a white ribbon.  Junellyn has used this footstool every day of her adult life.  Junellyn remembers learning to bake bread in 4-H and continues to bake family-favorite dinner rolls, today. 

When Ralph and Junellyn’s son, Steven, was old enough to join 4-H, both Ralph and Junellyn became 4-H leaders for ten years.  Ralph was a leader of the Westside Feeders, which is still an active club, today.  Ralph took his turn as a leader, sleeping in a tent at the fairgrounds with the members who showed livestock.  Ralph helped  start the annual Christmas caroling tradition, still practiced, by the Westside Feeders.  Ralph and Junellyn are honorary members of the Westside Feeders 4-H Club.  Junellyn was a leader of the West Nishna Belles.  Her favorite leader memories include picture study at Joslyn Art Museum, and helping her members make doughnuts to raise money to go to the Iowa State Fair.  Junellyn also participated as a camp counselor at the Iowa 4-H Camping Center.. 

Junellyn remembers Rally Days and Achievement shows as being the highlight of 4-H events.  She still has a punch recipe used at the Achievement Show.  Blue uniforms with white collars were worn by the girls and they spent a lot of time weaving red clover into long, heavy chains for ceremonies.  Junellyn judged other clubs’ achievement shows, judged fashion review for other counties, and she and Ralph reviewed a lot of record books, as leaders. 

Nearly every East Pottawattamie County Fair has been attended by Ralph and Junellyn, during their life, as well as sixty years at the Iowa State Fair.  Highlights at recent fairs have been watching their grandchildren show cattle.  Today, they attend to watch their great-grandchildren in their activities. For many years, Ralph and Junellyn sponsored trophies at their local county fair.  

In 1960, the Pierces hosted a gentleman from Nepal, named Kumar, through the International Four-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) program.  Kumar, and his family, have continued to keep in touch with the Pierces. 

Ralph and Junellyn have given many hours to not only 4-H, but their community, through volunteerism.  4-H has allowed Ralph and Junellyn Pierce to meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends for a lifetime.    

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Categories: Pottawattamie (East)

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