Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 28, 2017 at 9:22 AM by Global Reach

Keith and Sara MurphyKeith and Sara Murphy have a beautiful 4-H love story.   They have been married 57 years and it all started while dating when they were 4-Hers in Washington County.   They both participated in the weeklong county exchange program to Mackinaw Island in Michigan and that seemed to seal the deal for their hearts.  Both were members in Washington County in the 1950s where 4-H was the social outing.  They can tell great stories about their clubs turning barns into dance halls, hiring big bands, and hosting the entire county to these dances as club fundraisers.  They said those dances made more money than the 4-H club could even spend. 

They have raised six children in Washington County 4-H – Rick, Mike, Jeff, Robb, John, and Mindi.  This large family has been recognized for decades in the cattle barns.  During one county fair this family showed 18 calves.   They chuckle to remember the “Murphy calves” were never broke quite early enough.

Sara was the Headliners 4-H Club leader for 23 years where she believed strongly in the communication project area. She remembers the annual club trip as one of her favorite memories. 

Keith Murphy auctioneered for the county fair auction for the first time in 1956 and has not missed one since.  61 years later he serves as the auction superintendent and still coordinates the auctioneers, buyers, and truckers for the Washington County Fair livestock auction.  He has the unique privilege of now getting to auction off his grandchildren’s beef projects. 

Keith said, “We’ve done 4-H for so many years because. . . it’s what you do.  It teaches kids good things. We grew up with it, our kids grew up with it, and now grand kids.” He encourages the families getting started to let it be the kids’ projects and fair. “It is ok, and even works better, when you start from the bottom and work your way up."

Categories: 2017, Washington

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