Growing up in Grundy County, Ken and Nadene Van Hauen have always been around the agriculture scene.
Nadene was a member of the Melrose Merry Maids 4-H Club while Ken was active in the Wellsburg High School FFA, showing cattle at the local and national levels. In fact, Ken earned the Iowa Farmer degree in 1961-62 which is the highest degree conferred by the Iowa FFA Association. After college graduation Ken continued to educate the youth in the field of agriculture by being the vocational agriculture teacher at Waverly-Shell Rock High School and FFA advisor from 1968 to 1977 while Nadene was a 4th grade teacher in Waverly.
In 1977 Ken and Nadene decided to move back to the farm which Nadene grew up and Ken began farming and raising hogs. Ken and Nadene were very active in the pork industry through promotions and events. They were members of the Grundy County Pork Producers and Ken also served on the Iowa Pork Producers board for numerous years. In 1980 Ken became swine superintendent for 19 years at the Grundy County Fair.
Ken and Nadene became very involved in the Grundy County 4-H program when their children (Clint and Krista) joined 4-H. Clint and Krista showed swine from 1987 to 2002 at the Grundy County Fair and the Iowa State Fair. They were also involved in non-livestock projects such as photography, food and nutrition, leadership, and communication. In fact, Clint was the State 4-H Award winner in swine and photography while Krista was the State 4-H Award winner in leadership and food and nutrition.
Ken served on the Grundy County Extension Council for three years while Nadene served on the nominating committee for extension council the past two elections. Nadene also served on the 4-H Youth Committee for several years. Nadene started as a comment writer at the county fair and now continues to help at the registration table for non-livestock projects during the Grundy County Fair.
In 1998 Ken was awarded the Grundy County Honorary 4-H Award. Nadene was awarded the Grundy County Alumni Award in 2000.
Throughout the years Ken and Nadene enjoyed time at the Iowa State Fair. Ken can be found in the swine barn watching shows and talking to old hog friends while Nadene enjoys visiting the 4-H Exhibit Building and exploring the Fairgrounds. Ken and Nadene truly treasure memories of not only their 4-H/FFA careers but of their children’s careers. They are looking forward to creating and sharing more memories in Grundy County and at the Iowa State Fair.