Posted on August 24, 2015 at 9:29 AM by Global Reach
The Greiner’s involvement with the Johnson County 4-H program began in approximately 1970. Nick was asked to assist with the 4-H sheep program at the Johnson County Fair. He soon became the sheep superintendent, a position he held until 2013. Nick and Georgie organized and taught many sheep/lamb workshops and demonstrations, either on their own farm or at the county fairgrounds. Topics included: how to care for and feed your 4-H project, preparing it for the county fair and tips on showing your lamb. To help promote the sheep industry, each year the Johnson County Sheep and Wool Growers, of which Nick and Georgie were board members, would give several lambs to four individual 4-H members in Johnson County who had never had a lamb project. These 4-Hers were expected to raise these lambs and show them at the county fair. They served as mentors to these 4-Hers; answering many questions regarding the feeding and care of the lambs. Through this project and the increased number of county 4-Hers, 4-H lamb numbers gradually increased at the county level. Soon they had outgrown the barn at the county fairgrounds. Nick, with the assistance of others, convinced the county fair board to build a new sheep barn, a much needed facility on our fairgrounds.
In 1976, when Nick and Georgie’s oldest sons were old enough for 4-H, they joined the Victory 4-H Club. The following year, Nick became a leader of the club. Nick and Georgie became natural mentors for all the club members who had a sheep project. They would visit some of the club members on their farm and advise them regarding their sheep projects. Nick put emphasis on the livestock record books, he considered it essential 4-Hers know and understand the true cost of raising their livestock. Georgie worked behind the scenes assisting the 4-H leaders. She attended most 4-H meetings and assisted the
4-Hers with various projects. They both encouraged club members to go outside of their comfort zone to try a project they felt was challenging or attend a new activity. They integrated fun activities, including a club tour to the 4-H family farms, followed by a hayrack ride and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.
Georgie was active with the 4-H program at the county level. For several years, she served on the 4-H Scholarship Committee. Georgie represented 4-H on the county Family Life committee and served on the Johnson County Extension Council.
Whenever there were any county 4-H events, Nick and Georgie would be there assisting/participating: the pancake breakfasts, the award presentations, family fun night, grounds clean-up, setting up/preparing the barn prior to the fair, etc. Nick also sheared many of the 4-H lambs on the fairgrounds prior to the fair.
Nick and Georgie experienced many personal rewards through the 4-H program watching young children mature into adulthood. Life-long friendships developed as a result of their involvement in Iowa 4-H. Their four children benefited because of 4-H experiences and opportunities that opened doors for them during their college years and beyond.
The Greiner’s are synonymous with the 4-H lamb project in Johnson County and are exemplary of countless volunteer hours dedicated to the Johnson County 4-H program. Their volunteering is not limited to 4-H as they are committed to their church, community and have served on various state boards.