Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 9:48 AM by Emily Saveraid

Robert CrittendenBob is a life-long resident of Union County, a cattleman, a farmer, an award-winning auctioneer, real estate broker, a friend and mentor to many. Bob joined the Union Royal Rustlers in 1949 and became an adult 4-H volunteer in 1976 as a member of the Union County 4-H Beef Committee.

Showing market beef was Bob’s passion in 4-H, and he remembers the thrill of exhibiting the Union County Reserve Grand Champion steer in 1953 and showing beef at the Iowa State Fair. Other fond memories include being elected county 4-H vice president, receiving a blue ribbon record book award, being selected Outstanding 4-Square 4-Her and attending 4-H camp in Madrid.

For the past 30 years, Bob has been a familiar presence, almost an institution, at the Union County Fair. He can be found operating the scales for beef weigh in, offering thoughtful advice to young beef exhibitors and lending a willing hand across the grounds in general. When he isn’t busy helping, Bob is on the sidelines watching and encouraging youth as they prepare and show their exhibits.

However, Bob’s passion for the 4-H program is most evident when he holds the microphone in his hand and begins his familiar auctioneer’s chant, selling animals during the livestock auction or homemade pies, cinnamon rolls and other baked items through the Friends of 4-H Pie Auction – for the benefit of Union County 4-H youth. When Bob takes the mic, he is sure to get top dollar. As the “go to” auctioneer for all six days of the fair, Bob is known for his patience, waiting and waiting for a break in the show arena to sell pies and rolls. Sometimes selling them over and over to bring in additional dollars for the 4-H program.

Why does he do it? “It’s all about the kids, and 4-H is good for them. I see very few of our 4-H kids get into trouble,” Bob says. “And, as they get older, it is fun to see them realize how much work and effort goes into putting on the fair.”

In addition to countless hours auctioneering for 4-H, Bob is well known for auctioneering many fundraisers each year. Bob is a founding member of the Union County Cattlemen’s Association, member of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and was honored as the Union County Cattleman of the year in 2011. Bob served as president of the Iowa Auctioneer’s Association, was the Iowa State Fair Champion Auctioneer in 1991, was inducted into the Iowa Auctioneer’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the East Union Friend of Education Award in 2000, in part for serving as the auctioneer for numerous fundraisers for the school. He also raised club calves and was the breeder of the 1981 Grand Champion Steer at the National Western Livestock Show in Denver.

Categories: Union

Thank you for the many years of hard work that have benefited my kids. This honor you are receiving is well-deserved. You are a great example of giving back to our community.
Pam Hoffman | 3/20/23 at 3:16 AM
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