Posted on August 28, 2017 at 9:35 AM by Global Reach
The 2017 Union County inductees to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame are Jack and Mona Quee of Afton. Jack and Mona shared their passion for horses with three generations of 4-H youth in Union County and throughout Iowa.
During the past 50 years Jack and Mona have become well known in the community for stepping up to help wherever help is needed, from organizing food for Saddle Club trail rides to cooking in lunch stands during horse shows to chaperoning a throng of kids camping at the Iowa State Fair.
In 1970, they became leaders of the Horse & Riders 4-H club and were instrumental in the club’s formation and development. At the same time, Jack volunteered for the county 4-H horse committee. Though they relinquished their role as club leaders after 15 years, Jack and Mona continued to attend the club’s monthly meetings and practice sessions and to this day are there to share their wisdom through a demonstration, advice or story.
The couple remembers when horses were housed in tents at the Union County Fair, and they helped build the horse barn in 1970. They provide support, time and equipment to keep the arena in shape for shows and were instrumental in the recent refurbishing of the show arena.
Jack is always at the Union County Fair to help as a ring man, judge, gate opener or to do whatever else is needed. Jack also ran the arena gates for the Iowa State Fair 4-H Horse Show.
“It was always a comfort knowing Jack was letting your kids into the ring at the State Fair,” tells a former 4-H member whose children, and now grandchildren, benefit from Jack’s knowledge and patience. “Jack is that friendly face to calm your nerves, and though he is never quick to give advice, when he does, it is always worthwhile.”
“Nothing can take the place of practice and time with a horse. It’s a lot of fun to watch these kids develop their skills, improve their confidence and grow up,” Jack says. “When we started, I didn’t know half as much about showing as I do now. I imagine we received more out of helping the kids than they received from us,” Jack adds.
“4-H is a great way for kids to make friends and learn how to work together. It teaches them about winning, losing and other life lessons,” says Mona. “And they have fun.”
The retired couple raises horses on their farm near Afton and enjoy riding, including an annual trip to gather and move cattle from summer pastures in the Colorado mountains. They are active members of the Union County Saddle Club, serving many years as officers, and are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Creston, where Jack served as a church elder. Their family includes daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Bruce Herzberg, three grandchildren, two great granddaughters and son, the late Lonnie Quee.