Posted on August 17, 2014 at 9:40 PM by Global Reach
Martin and Joann Kruse’ 4-H roots date back over 60 years. Joann Ries was a member of the Polly Pigtails 4-H club and Martin Kruse was a member of the Petersburg Livestock 4-H club when they made their début at the 1950 Delaware County Fair. Little did either know that 4-H would be such a monumental part of their lives together. Although they don’t remember each other from that first fair, their paths would soon cross again in 1962 at a local Labor Day dance where Joann’s brother introduced the two. They were married in June of 1963 and began farming in Martin’s home community of Petersburg.
Martin and Joann’s theory of diversified farming came in handy over the 22 years their 6 children were in 4-H. They strongly supported their projects, especially those that revolved around agriculture. Mike, Karen, Steve, Kathy, Mark and Sara were as dedicated to the 4-H organization as their parents; exhibiting projects from dairy to visual arts, beef to photography and rabbits to woodworking. Martin and Joann also influenced several other youngsters to pledge their head, heart, hands and health during their 14 years of leading the Petersburg Livestock 4-H club.
Joann has chaperoned the Delaware County State Fair 4-H bus for over 20 years and serves as an active member of the Delaware County communications committee. And Martin can still be found in the front row of the Delaware County livestock shows cheering on their grandkids who are now in 4-H. The Kruse’s also received the Delaware County Alumni award in 2002 and Joann was given the 2007 Delaware County Meritorious award.
Martin and Joann, together with 2 of their sons, Mike and Mark, own and operate Kruse Dairy Farms in rural Delaware County. They enjoy fishing, playing cards with friends and are active members of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Petersburg, IA.