Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 9:17 AM by Emily Saveraid

Peter Houska, Sr.Peter Houska, Sr, grew up in rural eastern Iowa in the 1940’s. He stayed busy on the farm raising purebred Poland China hogs, milking cows and farming. Pete served in the U.S. Marines from 1950 to 1952. Although he did not grow up an active 4-H member, he realized the importance of 4-H when he had children. Five of his six children became involved in 4-H in Sac County. Projects included rabbit and pigs, showing both at the Sac County Fair and the Iowa State Fair.

Pete was a 4-H leader 12 years for the Jackson Lads, which is now the Jacksons 4-H Club. Three of his grandchildren are still active in this club. He started many young 4-Hers with rabbit projects as he continued to raise rabbits after his children were grown. He enjoyed being able to help 4-Hers get started in the rabbit project. Some still talk of those projects today and his generosity in helping them.  

Throughout his many years as a volunteer, Pete served as a member of the Extension 4-H Youth Committee from 1990-1995 and received numerous 4-H awards including the 4-H Award of the Pearl Clover.

Pete and his family moved to Sac City, Iowa to manage a swine confinement operation in the 1980’s. Continuing his desire to raise quality pork and keep youth involved in pork production, he was the Sac County swine superintendent for 20 years. He emphasized production and carcass merit to the 4-H members.  In his retirement days, Pete has volunteered many times as the herdsmanship judge at the Sac County Fair as well as contributed financially to the swine herdsmanship award.

Pete’s children passed the importance of 4-H on to their children with six grandchildren involved in 4-H in Ida and Sac County.  Grandpa Pete has always been their biggest fan, watching them show at the county and Iowa State Fair. At age 86, he still makes the trip to the Iowa State Fair to see his grandchildren participate in 4-H. The tradition of 4-H swine and rabbit projects in the Houska family has existed for over 30 years. Many of the grandchildren were also involved in communications, leadership, nutrition and many more projects, receiving encouragement and sometimes produce from Pete’s garden for their projects. Pete is an avid gardener.

Pete and his wife, Janice, have been married 62 years. Pete and Jan are members of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sac City. Pete taught CCD classes for 20 years, and was Iowa’s Knights of Columbus Knight of the Year award recipient. 

Categories: Sac

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