Posted on August 24, 2017 at 3:35 PM by Emily Saveraid
While Bill Biedenfeld was never a 4-H member, he exemplified the 4-H Motto “To Make the Best Better” and lived the portion of the 4-H pledge “My Hands to Larger Service” as a volunteer for Clay County 4-H and Extension Service for nearly 40 years.
His service to Clay County 4-H began with being elected to serve on the Clay County Extension Council. From there he served on the county 4-H committee and as a leader of the Clay Raiders 4-H Club. His commitment to 4-H was demonstrated as a long-time member of the 4-H beef committee at the Clay County Fair.
Bill sought any and every opportunity to help his children, his club members, the county 4-Her’s and Extension organization. Whether it be evening planning meetings, Saturday workshops, weigh-ins at the far corners of the county, or being scale-master at the Clay County Fair, Bill Biedenfeld displayed exemplary commitment and dedication to the growth and education of Clay County 4-H members.
In her nomination, former County Extension Director, Ann Lohman, wrote, “I describe Bill’s tenure with such profound words as loyalty, reliability, youth-centeredness, honor, humility, fair-mindedness, hard-working, and role model. After observing and working with Bill for many years, my assumption that Bill was a green-blooded 4-H alumnus was shattered. He was never a 4-H member and yet, Bill chose to make 4-H a priority in his life, the life of his family, and the lives of thousands of county and district 4-H members.”
Bill’s quiet leadership was admired and greatly appreciated. Bill was a leader, a supporter and a model for doing what was in the best interest of the individual. This commitment was demonstrated with transitions to Title IX. He was involved when girls were transitioning into livestock competition, boys were being introduced to static exhibit work, the county was organizing county 4-H basketball tournaments, and county clubs with gender-discriminating names were struggling to change their club names after years of tradition.
He led by example, showing his children and so many others what it means to be involved, dedicated, and hard-working. Other benefactors of his personal convictions and his embrace of positive change included Extension staff, 4-H families, livestock showmanship contestants, “Science and Engineering” static exhibitors, recordkeeping award nominees and the Clay County Fair.
“Friend of 4-H” (1982), Leader Recognition for Years of Service (1982, 1999), “Clay County Beef Volunteer” (1992) and Honorary 4-H Member (2003), are all a significant testament to Bill’s years of service to the Clay county 4-H program. But beyond the awards, is Bill’s legacy to his children…all of whom were 8-year members of Clay County 4-H and as adults became active volunteers and/or professionals with ISU Extension. Other Clay Raiders 4-H Club members have also become community volunteers and been ISU Extension professionals.