Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 24, 2015 at 9:40 AM by Global Reach

  Dennis BaldwinIn July of 1988, Dennis’s son Chad showed lambs in his first sheep show.  This began a long association with the Plymouth County Fair.  Within a few years Dennis was asked to join the sheep committee and the rest is history.  During the past 25 years Dennis has watched his three children as members of the Liberty Perry Pacers 4-H Club where Grandpa Lowell (Dennis’s dad) was the leader.  Chad, Ryan, and Tami had a variety of projects, but the sheep show was the highlight. 

In 1999, Dennis was nominated to a term on the 4-H & Youth Committee and ended up serving 9 years.  He also took part in the Food Stand Sub-committee and helped renovate it in 2005 with a new look and more efficient. Dennis was also instrumental in fundraising to erect the Clock Tower that sits on the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  A 4-H Family cookbook was published to raise the funds and to construct the tower.

From here, Dennis was elected to the Plymouth County Fairboard.  He enjoyed his six years of service and received the “Rookie of the Year” award in 2004 and “Fairman of the Year” award in 2005.  In February of 2011, Dennis’s good friend and sheep superintendent, Jeff Klemme, passed away.  Dennis volunteered to step up and fill that role.  He led the sheep committee for the past four years and now has helped Jeff’s son, Chance learn the ropes to undertake the superintendent role. Dennis Baldwin receiving award

Dennis has seen many changes in the sheep show in the past 25 years.  In the late 1990’s – early 2000’s, the sheep show reached its peak with over 300 lambs and 50 exhibitors.  A tent had to be set up with temporary pens to hold the overflow!  Later a new swine barn was built and so the excess sheep were able to utilize the old hog building.  Several years later those buildings needed to come down and a new Livestock Pavilion now stands in its place.  Dennis also remembers in 1988 the sheep show started at 4:00 p.m. and finished after 10:00 p.m.!  Lambs used to be sheared at the fairgrounds one week before the fair and no slick shearing was allowed.  At that time no one had heard of “retinal imaging” either!  Dennis and Dave were known to have slept in the Fair Office so they could be up at 3:00 a.m. to load carcass lambs for the trip to the packing house.

One thing that has NOT changed is the excitement of 4-H’ers getting ready to show their lambs, especially for the first time, the friendships made with 4-H families, and working with a great group of committee members.  Dennis would surely say, “We do this for the kids!”

This is an honor for Dennis to receive, and most meaningful because his father, Lowell Baldwin, was the first nominee in Plymouth County to be inducted to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002

Categories: Plymouth

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