Posted on August 24, 2015 at 9:28 AM by Global Reach
Tom Conover was born and raised at Bonnie Acres Farm south of Holstein, in Ida County. As a youth, he was active in the Battle Boys 4-H Club for 8 years. His projects included Hereford breeding cattle, Belgian draft horses, and Berkshire swine. He earned the “I Dare You” Award, the Ak-Sar-Ben Award, and attended the 4-H Winter Short Course and Convention at Iowa State College.
After serving in World War II, he came back to Ida County to farm Bonnie Acres, raise Hereford Cattle and Berkshire Hogs. He returned to the Battle township club now known as the Battle Badgers 4-H Club as their 4-H leader for over twenty-five years and influenced over 1,000 Ida County 4-Hers, including his five children who were members of his club.
He could be found encouraging and assisting his club members to participate in the 4-H Demonstration Program, now known as Communications. Many of his club teams were selected to present their demonstrations at the Iowa State Fair.
Tom Conover always supported the Livestock Judging program and hosted many livestock judging workouts at Bonnie Acres throughout the summers providing classes of swine, beef and sheep.
Tom also served as the fair Swine Superintendent. He was in charge of assigning pens for over 500 head of swine each year, dividing hogs into weight divisions for classes and conducting a day long swine show. For many years he served as a judge for the Premier Showmanship Contest at the Ida County Fair.
Tom Conover is known throughout the United States as a swine judge for shows from Pennsylvania to California and all states in between. He spent summers judging many county 4-H swine shows in Iowa, as well as at the Iowa State Fair.
He exhibited Berkshire Swine at the Iowa State Fair for over sixty years, and still exhibits at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa
His family includes his wife Shirley; a son Craig Conover (Jean) of Mapleton, IA; a daughter Linda Weldon (Stephen) of Slater, IA; a son Bruce Conover of Craryville, NY; a son Allen Conover (Jeanne) of Baxter, IA; a son Grant Conover of Baxter, IA; a step-son Chris Bartolozzi (Kathy) of West Des Moines, IA; a step-daughter Nicole Bartolozzi of Ames, IA; and a step-daughter Maggie Renze (Randy) of Ida Grove, IA; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and four step-great-grandchildren.