Posted on August 19, 2015 at 10:09 AM by Global Reach
Ralph Lents of Menlo comes from a strong 4-H oriented family with his parents, two brothers and one sister all being involved as a 4-H family at the county and state levels. Ralph participated with cattle and hog projects, and livestock judging, but leadership was one of Ralph’s strong points.
His leadership abilities were evident as he served as club treasurer, vice-president, and was elected boys county 4-H president in 1968 and was a candidate for state 4-H officer. He enjoyed attending the Adair-Union 4-H Winter Camp at Madrid, the State 4-H Conservation Camp and State 4-H Conference. Ralph was a member of one of the top livestock judging teams at the Adair County Fair with fellow 4-H’ers and later coached a team competing at the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City.
Ralph received the Danforth leadership award as a senior 4-H’er. The purpose of the Danforth Award is to dare young people to stand tall, think tall, smile tall, and be their own self and their very best at all times. Ralph continues to meet that challenge today as he volunteers with the Adair County 4-H program and as a member of local entities. He served on the Adair County Extension Council, 4 years as chairman, and 8 years as treasurer. Ralph also served on the Adams County Extension Council for 4 years, the Iowa Association of County Extension Councils Board of Directors, and represented SW Iowa on several state Extension Committees.
Ralph was a 10-year member of the local REC board of directors and served as director of the Central Iowa Power Coop. He served as open class swine superintendent at the Iowa State Fair for four years; is an active, long-time member of the Adair County Corn & Soybean Association and Adair County Pork Producers; and continues to judge county fair swine shows.
Ralph was club leader of the Way Out Walnuts for eight years, continuing in that role after his daughter, Katie, had graduated. His outgoing personality and commitment to helping kids learn and grow makes Ralph an ideal fair superintendent as he continues to serve as county fair beef superintendent. He received the Award of the Emerald Clover for 25 years of volunteer service in 2014 and was honored as the Adair County 4-H Alumni Award Winner in 2000.
Ralph supported his daughters in their 4-H careers – Erica as she participated in Adams County; then Dallas County; and graduated as an Adair County 4-H’er; and Katie as a 9-year member of Adair County 4-H. He not only supported and encouraged his daughters, but also helped make 4-H a great experience for many youth.
When a livestock volunteer is needed, whether it be pulling DNA hair samples on the coldest day of the winter to make animals eligible for AK-SAR-BEN, or putting up stall cards in the livestock barns on the hottest day of the summer, you can count on Ralph. He was an active
4-H’er as a youth and continues to support the 4-H program as a very dedicated volunteer.