From 1948 to 1957 this year’s Louisa County inductee, Janet Pretz, for the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was a member of the Cotter area girls Cloverleaf 4-H Club. During that time she especially enjoyed the years that the club focused on the home improvement project area. She also wanted to raise and show beef. So, for two years in the 50’s she joined the boys JCAB Club just to show her cattle at the county fair!
In 1957 she graduated from Cotter High School and by the mid 60’s started what would become a lifetime of adult volunteer service to both 4-H and other Louisa County organizations.
During the 60’s, thru the 70’s and even into the early 80’s this mom of three 4-Hers participated in many club activities and worked as an assistant club leader.
It was during the 70’s Janet was elected to the Louisa County Extension Council and gained a new perspective on 4-H from the policy and development side. By 1984 she started 15 years of service to the Louisa County Fair as she took the office of treasurer. From 1986 to 1999 she served as secretary of the Louisa County Fair, a job she says she is retired from – but even today, almost 15 years after leaving the office, she can still be found helping out at the Fair.
Janet met her husband at the Louisa County Fair; has kept up with friends thru the Fair every year and told her children that at their house the 4th of July was the day you worked on 4-H exhibits to prepare for the achievement show and Labor Day was the day you finished your record books. She still enjoys the cattle show at the county fair and she doesn’t miss going to the 4-H building when she goes to the Iowa State Fair.
Throughout the years Janet has been an active volunteer in organizations in addition to 4-H and Fair. For example she is a member and willing worker in the activities of Half Hour Club in Columbus Junction and the Shellbark Neighborhood Club. She is also an Elder and Clerk of Session for the Cotter Presbyterian Church.
This honor is not the first time Janet has been applauded for her service. In the 70’s she was recognized at the Louisa County 4-H Banquet with a Louisa County 4-H Alumni Award. In the year 2000 she received the Columbus Junction Distinguished Citizen Award. And now in the summer of 2013, the staff and council of the Louisa County Extension Office are proud to nominate Janet Pretz for the honor of Louisa County inductee into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.