Posted on August 8, 2013 at 11:57 AM by Global Reach
The 2013 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame honoree from Emmet County is Holle Smith. Holle worked at the Emmet County Extension Office for over 30 years. When people in Emmet County think of 4-H, they think of Holle Smith.
Holle believes in the 4-H program and the ideals it represents, including its main goals of teaching life skills and hands-on education. She made a difference and touched the lives of many 4-H’ers in Emmet County for decades with her encouragement. She instilled this love of 4-H in her children, which influenced their life goals as well.
Beyond her job as Emmet County’s Extension Education Director, Holle put in many extra hours directly influencing 4-H’ers and the 4-H program. She worked hard to improve all aspects of 4-H in Emmet County. Even though Holle has a new job and no longer works for ISU Extension and Outreach, she still is asked 4-H questions wherever she goes.
4-H has impacted Holle’s life since she became a member in Clarion, Iowa – which just happens to be the birthplace of 4-H. Holle Mechem was a member of the Lincoln Lassies League 4-H club for 8 years. She was very active, participating in such things as; the Chicago Award Trip, State 4-H Conference, State 4-H Conservation Camp, Citizenship-Washington Focus 4-H trip, District 4-H Camp, Livestock Judging, Horse Clinics, Club Tours, Dress Revue, Junior Day Camp and Campus 4-H. Holle enjoyed serving as a county officer and as secretary of the older youth 4-H group. She also held various offices in her club. Holle presented many demonstrations and talks receiving numerous awards! In her record book Holle wrote, “If it weren’t for 4-H, I’d have had these experiences. Many of these activities I’ll never forget in my life time.”
Some of her favorite project areas were beef, clothing, food & nutrition, horticulture, home improvement, horse, and junior leadership. She showed beef at the Wright County Fair, Iowa State Fair, and AK-SAR-BEN. In fact we even found in her record book that she named her calves names like; Gus, Charlie, Dandruff Dan, Tricky Dicky, Spiro, Snoopy, Red Baron, and Teddy Bear.
This excerpt from Holle’s 1972 record book describes her 4-H experience and helps you understand why she believes so strongly in the 4-H program: “Wow! 4-H is an opportunity! It’s a beginning! It’s the birth of a real individual. 4-H gives one a future! Through 4-H, I have come out of a shell of shyness and now enjoy meeting new people. To succeed in this world successfully you must be able to meet people! I feel I have found myself through 4-H work. Because of the contact with 4-H people, I know I believe I can help this world. I am majoring in Home Economics Education at Iowa State University. I hope to teach Home Economics or work with the Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H has interested me in Home Economics and you could say it’s given me my future and I know it will continue to help me in the future.”