Posted on August 24, 2017 at 3:33 PM by Emily Saveraid
Darwin Downing was a member of the Greenbay Gophers 4-H Club for nine years, from 1961 – 1970. He showed in numerous project areas including; swine, beef cattle, photography, sheep, and participated in many communication projects. His 4-H leader was his father, Arlan.
Darwin continues to remember that in the sixties the county fairgrounds facilities were not large enough to hold all of the beef cattle and a tent was brought in to house the overflow cattle. The 4-Hers worked so hard keeping the cattle tent cleaned, that the alleyways were three to four inches lower in elevation when the fair was over. The thing that impresses Darwin now is the comradery and “all for one” attitude the members, their parents, and the leaders have to make for the fair to be a positive experience for everyone.
Darwin grew up on a farm in Clarke County and is still involved in farming. The farm consists of a cow/calf and sheep flock. Darwin also worked off the farm as a head janitor/maintenance man at Clarke and Murray Community Schools. Darwin states, “working at the schools let me get to know students who participated in 4-H and encourage them to succeed.”
Darwin has been the sheep and goat barn superintendent of the Clarke County Fair for 33 years. Darwin tells his sheep and goat members “to take accountability for your actions. If it was your fault then own it.”
Darwin also has sponsored the Keith Weaklend Memorial Sheep Clinic. This clinic is for beginning sheep 4-H project members held for the 22nd year in 2017. It is with the help of many friends and other sheep enthusiasts that this clinic has been such a success. We recently included goat 4-H project members in the clinic. This is a learning experience for members and Darwin.
Darwin states, “The Clarke County Fair has always been my favorite fair. What an honor to be inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.”