Posted on August 26, 2016 at 10:02 AM by Emily Saveraid
Nancy Spain, our mother, has been deeply rooted in 4-H since she was a little girl. Growing up in a 4-H family with older siblings, Mom was involved in 4-H projects before she was old enough to become a member. The passion and dedication for 4-H sparked a flame at an early age and that flame is still burning today.
If you would ask any parent of a Delwood Community School student from the past 18 years who Nancy Spain is, they would immediately respond with a description of a caring, mother-figure type of person who could always call their child by first name. Mom was first hired to be a Community Liaison for the Delwood School District to bridge families and the school together, and her role evolved into the Director for the After School Program. The program provides activities each day for students during after-school hours until 5:30PM.
Mom’s enduring patience for every child in her program carried on as a 4-H leader of the Delmar Hot Shots. Mom began her role of leader for the Delmar Hot Shots 4-H club in 1995, shortly after her oldest son, Jason, began 4-H. Her immersion in the club encouraged new members to join, and, with her leadership, caused membership numbers to grow. The Delmar Hot Shots 4-H club became a popular organization for Delmar area children and teenagers. With Mom’s encouragement, each member brought one or more exhibits to the Clinton County Fair each year and some of those projects continued on to the Iowa State Fair. These projects inspired leadership and personal development skills into each and every member with Mom’s guidance and direction.
It wasn’t only club members that Mom encouraged to participate, she had four sons all in 4-H at the same time! If we had a choice, we four brothers would have shown one heifer or steer each year and called it a wrap for the 4-H year. Under Mom’s direction, one “outdoor” project (livestock) was not enough. Whether it was refinishing a dresser that was brought down from the attic or creating lawn decorations from “junk” around the farm, Mom would persevere with making sure we had the project ready for judging day. Reflecting back, all four of us agree that the additional “indoor” projects taught us valuable life skills that we use every day in each of our careers.
With recent health complications hindering her ability to be a 4-H leader, Mom has stepped down as leader of the Delmar Hot Shots to allow new generations of leaders to carry on what has become an elite 4-H club. You will still find her in the stands at the Clinton County Fair during the livestock shows or walking through the exhibit buildings on the fairgrounds with her warm smile and encouraging words to members as they prepare for the next class or next presentation.
Soon her grandchildren will be in the 4-H show ring and they will carry on the passion for 4-H that she not only instilled in her sons, but each and every member of the Delmar Hot Shots 4-H club.