Posted on August 24, 2015 at 9:37 AM by Global Reach
Cathy Holtkamp was born and raised in Lee County. She and her husband, Larry Holtkamp, have four children who were all very active in 4-H. In 1986, Cathy took a job working for Lee County Extension. She became the County Youth Coordinator and was actively involved in a program that she was so passionate about. Cathy spent 27 years in this position before her retirement in 2013. She influenced thousands of Lee County 4-H members’ lives, including multiple generations.
Cathy took much joy in helping each 4-H member, from registering to become a 4-H member, helping with a 4-H project, writing a letter of recommendation for a scholarship or even going to the schools to recruit kids to join 4-H. Cathy went above and beyond her required duties, and she gave both her time and talent. She was extremely proud of each member as they excelled and would stop what she was doing and put their needs first whenever they entered the office.
As the County Youth Coordinator she was always looking for ways to help. Cathy put on numerous clinics and with the help of her County Council, many events for 4-H’ers to enjoy. She attended each clinic and event, showing up early and staying late, mostly during the evening hours or weekends. When fair time came around, Cathy again dedicated her time to the success of the 4-H program. She spent countless hours getting ready for fair and opening day.
Cathy's proudest moment each year was at the Annual Awards Banquet for all 4-H members. She would let each member know how proud she was of them by giving them encouraging words when they received their awards. Cathy would guide the Youth Council but she always let them do the work and take the credit for the day.
Cathy Holtkamp gave 27 years of her life to the Lee County 4-H Program and to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Cathy is greatly missed from this position but what she gave will never be forgotten. Each and every 4-H member that went through the program in those 27 years was blessed to have her be a part of their lives, be it only in passing or attending one of her clinics. Our lives are richer due to Cathy's enthusiasm for her county and the 4-H program.