Posted on August 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM by Global Reach
Wanda originally came to SW Iowa from Nodaway County, Missouri. There she was a member of the Burlington Jet 4-H Club. While a 4-H member, Wanda enjoyed showing Jersey dairy cows and had picked up a knack for judging chickens.
Shortly after moving to Iowa, she met her husband, Harlan Johnson, at the Cass County Fair. They have been married for 45 years. It seems that since the beginning, 4-H has been somewhat of a “glue” in Wanda’s life. For the duration of their marriage, they have farmed and lived on Harlan’s childhood homestead. Wanda has loyally been by Harlan’s side helping with the farm. She cooks delicious meals, creates & tends to large home gardens, cans & freezes all the family’s food and joyfully participates in all the other aspects farm life demands.
Together, Wanda and Harlan raised two children on their homestead. Their daughter Joni has a horticulture degree and is a familiar face at the Orscheln Farm & Home store in Red Oak, Iowa. Their son Kyle is the head coordinator and trainer of Central College’s strength and conditioning program. Kyle is married to Jara and they have a 1 ½ year old, Everett.
In 1984, Wanda’s daughter Joni became old enough to join 4-H. Wanda dug her feet right in as a clothing project leader for the Busy Boosters 4-H Club in Villisca, Iowa. Joni excelled in project areas including food and nutrition, clothing and home improvement. After time spent with the Busy Boosters, Wanda became a co-leader of the Northeast Herdsmen 4-H Club when her son joined 4-H. Kyle took part in showing the family’s home raised sheep. Today they still raise sheep along with beef cows, corn and soybeans.
Wanda was able to see both of her children graduate from the Montgomery County 4-H program. Wanda has fostered and kindled the lives of so many 4-H children and has become an inspiration for other club leaders. She has treated all of the kids as if they were her very own. Today Wanda co-leads the East Sunrisers 4-H Club in Villisca, Iowa, as well as co-leads the county’s Clover Kids Club. A friend of forty years describes Wanda by stating, “She is really one of the kindest, most creative, hardworking, Christian women I have ever known in my life.”
Wanda continues to be a woman of many skills. She owns and operates her own flower and wedding business. She was a Boy Scout leader for many years, and is a member of the Grant Federated Sunshine Garden Club for 40 years, most years serving as president.
Wanda is very deserving of being recognized for her gifts of love and commitment not only to the Montgomery County community but to the Montgomery County 4-H program. Helping hands and a caring heart is what Wanda is all about.