Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 8, 2013 at 11:24 PM by Global Reach

Donna started working for the Keokuk County Agricultural Extension District in 1980 and retired in 2013, from thirty three years as Office Assistant. She did every aspect of work in the office. 

As turnover in the Extension Office naturally occurred she would jump in and help take over the work load until a new person could be hired. Donna kept the accounting system up to date, going from hand written, to electronic spreadsheet, to Quicken and then Cougar Mountain. She researched phone systems that started with one line, and then upgraded to a two line system, then went to an integrated phone system with Musac and a fax system. As Office Assistant, she coordinated the installation of three different systems that went from hard wired internet to wireless web access. Even the newsletters went from a regular typewriter to electronic typewriter to computer and printing from mimeograph to eventually computer generated and sent electronically to a printer which collated and stapled. Each time a new system was installed Donna enthusiastically learned and taught the staff how to use the new technologies.

Donna worked tirelessly in the 4-H program helping with all aspects of record keeping from livestock entries to fair show schedules. One year when a new computer was purchased (Apple 2c) it was decided the livestock classes could be entered on a spreadsheet and sorted. The county director and Donna worked until 2:00 am before show day to get that task accomplished. 

She knew all the 4-H members and their families. She even learned how to matt photographs, found free matt boards, and a professional matt cutter, then taught 4-H members how to select and mount their photos. She was very active in helping horse and dog project leaders in setting up meetings and training schedules. Several years she transported to Des Moines the state fair exhibits and picked them up.

It is estimated that over the years she answered 75,000 questions from clients, sent out 80,000 newsletters and answered the phone 60,000 times with, “Iowa State University Keokuk County Extension Office, this is Donna, how may I help you”.

Donna was a true inspiration to everyone she worked with and will be greatly missed at the Keokuk County Extension Office.

Categories: Keokuk

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