4-H volunteers, Emmett and Carol Messer have a 4-H background that expands many decades! Carol has volunteered 75 years and Emmett 65 years!
Carol’s 4H career started in her youth with all 9 years in Henry County as a member of New London Lassies and Farm Boosters Clubs. She exhibited in many divisions including clothing, food and nutrition, home economics, home improvement and livestock, showing cattle. She exhibited cattle at the Iowa State Fair and the International Livestock Show and was named Outstanding 4Her in 1946. She was a Jr. Leader and by the time she went to college she had 14 Hereford heifers! She graduated high school in 1947 and went on to ISU. She got married in 1948 and they started a farm in rural Yarmouth to raise hogs, cattle, chickens, grain.
Emmett’s 4H involvement started as a 4H leader for the Pleasant Grove Rockets even before their oldest son was in 4H! He worked many years for the Des Moines County Fairs helping with clean up, building fences and pens, beef weigh-ins and whatever was needed. He chaperoned a trip to Citizenship Washington-Focus. Emmett helped supervised the boys in the “BIG TENT” while at the original location and the Middletown location and later in 1970’s started the “Night Watchmen” for the fair ending his tour in the early 90’s. He remembers the many fun stories of the ornery 4Her’s!
Carol was a leader for the New London Lassies till 1952 when she quit to raise their family of 6 sons. She did not stop though as she continued helping judge the local “achievement day” and also helped with the Fashion Review Show. She and Ronnie Ertzinger started the Open Class Division when the Fair was moved to “Agri Sports Arena”. Carol and Emmett also worked for 14 years helping with their church food booth.
Their passion for 4H continued to grow. In 1980 the Messers ran the Exhibitor’s Campgrounds and Livestock Tie Outs at the Iowa State Fair. In 2001 he went to work in the Security Department concluding years of service at the Iowa State Patrol lot in 2010! Many friends were made while working at the ISF! Carol also started helping out in the Open Class Division for the Food Department in the later 80’s and still works there today helping in many ways!
They are the parents of 6 sons who all have been involved in 4-H. They are grandparents to 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Almost all have been or are involved in 4-H. They are the biggest supporters and fans to this day at both county and state levels.
You can see them supporting and cheering on their grandchildren during the cattle, sheep, bucket calf and bottle lamb shows, taking pictures or writing down placings! They also attending the educational presentations, fashion reviews and Share the Fun programs!