Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 25, 2017 at 9:35 AM by Emily Saveraid

award for Frank JohnsonFrank was an avid 4-H’er from the start. He joined the Pioneer Hawkeyes 4-H club in the fall of 1956 and was active in showing hogs, sheep and woodworking. He held various officer positions within the club and county 4-H while also being involved in livestock judging, camps, and a leader’s short course at Iowa State University. He was able to be a junior leader which gave him the opportunity to practice rules and skills that he used later in life. Frank was also active in FFA and received the FFA star farmer award.

After he graduated high school, Frank was active with sheering sheep for friends and 4-H members to earn extra money for college. He became a 4-H leader in the 1970’s and held many meetings at his home. As a leader, he organized a club tour annually visiting each member to see their projects before fair. The youth always attended the club tour as it was everyone’s favorite activity. 4-H was in his blood so he was always there for the 4-H kids and his own kids to make the Guthrie County Fair an enjoyable and memorable experience. He believed in keeping a detailed record book with accurate records for profit, loss or even breakeven times and helped youth learn lessons about responsibility as well as reaping rewards for hard work.

While Frank was busy being a leader and 4-H parent, he envisioned a place near the livestock barns and show ring for the 4-H and FFA kids to get a good meal at a reasonable price. With his love for cooking he started the 4-H food stand which is now the most popular place to eat at the fair. Frank kept freezers of meat at his home and took food to the fair daily, sometimes driving the 20 miles one way many times a day. He donated all of his time, energy and heart so the 4-H clubs could keep the profits made from the food stand. It was many hours every day cooking over hot grills just to make sure there was fresh food for families to eat. He enjoyed it all and never missed a day.

Frank served on the Guthrie County Extension Council from January 1972 to December 1973. He was very involved in the Guthrie County Pork Producers, holding several offices. He later became a district director for the Iowa Pork Industry and took leadership of the big grill at the World Pork Expo for several years. He was chairman of the Iowa Chop Tent for many years and never missed a day there either. 

Categories: 2017, Guthrie

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