Posted on August 21, 2018 at 2:02 PM by Global Reach
Steve and Laura Olsen were active leaders of the Brighton 4-H Club for more than 15 years. They raised 5 children who were all 4-H members and participated in the Cass County Fair.
Steve has been involved in agriculture his entire life; he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Ag Education. He then taught Vocational AG in Earlham until he started farming alongside his dad. While farming with his dad they also raised, showed and sold hogs all around the mid-west. Steve has always had a passion for agriculture. He grew up in the Pymosa 4-H Club and showed hogs and cattle at the county fair.
Laura was not always involved in 4-H growing up a city girl in Omaha. After marriage she transitioned from city girl to farm wife. She embraced 4-H for her children and the community, and relished the excitement of working on projects and raising livestock in preparation for the Cass County Fair. At the fair Laura could always be found with a cooler in tow, feeding and refreshing anyone within reach.
While their kids were in 4-H, Steve and Laura helped them raise and show hundreds of hogs, sheep and cattle. After the kids sold their animals at the livestock sale, Steve and Laura instilled the importance of thanking the community members who supported 4-H and purchased their animals. They started a family tradition of hand delivering a homemade pie and thank you note to the person or business that purchased their animals.
Steve and Laura believed it was important for their kids to have other projects in addition to showing livestock. In the months leading up to county fair you would find Steve and Laura offering guidance and encouraging independence for their children's welding, refinishing furniture, Best of Iowa, and baking exhibits.
Also important to Steve and Laura was teaching their children about service to the community. Laura played an integral role in coordinating fundraisers and service events for the Brighton 4-H Club members, and she would always bake and donate pies to be enjoyed by fairgoers at the Cass County Fair 4-H food stand.
Steve continued his love for agriculture and youth education in his career when he served as the Cass County Extension Director and spent countless hours preparing for the county fair.