Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 21, 2018 at 3:27 PM by Global Reach

Life-long residents of Jones County, Iowa, Robert and Shirley Davis of rural Olin, Iowa have dedicated their life to farming and agriculture.  Robert grew up on a farm near Center Junction, Iowa while Shirley grew up on a farm near Olin.  Following their marriage in 1971, they began farming with both a row crop and cattle operation.  They continue to farm, along with their son, Jeremy, who resides in Ames and is employed by the National Pork Producers Council. Robert & Shirley Davis

Throughout their lifetime of farming, Robert and Shirley have been committed to giving back to the community. When their son joined 4-H, Robert became a 4-H leader for the Olin Hawkeyes 4-H Club and served in that role for many years.  He has served as a board member for the Jones County Cattleman and served as its president in 1992-93.  Robert served for 19 years as a member of the Great Jones County Fair Board of Directors and also served as a member of the Jones County 4-H Youth Committee. Robert continues to volunteer with the 4-H beef show at the Jones County Fair and also helps with the 4-H cattle check-in at the Iowa State Fair.

Additionally, Robert is a past president of the Olin Ambulance Board, served as an Olin volunteer firefighter for 25 years, was a member of the Olin Lions Club, and a member of Ancient Landmark Lodge in Olin.  He is currently a member at the Springville American Legion. In his younger years, Robert served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Constellation as a firefighter. 

For Robert and Shirley, farming means teamwork. Due to his volunteer commitments, when Robert is away from the farm, Shirley handles the day-to-day responsibilities of the farming operation which consists of just under 1000 acres and an 80 head commercial cow-calf operation.

One of the greatest achievements, however, occurred in the early 1990s when Robert and Shirley, along with Wayne and Donna Robinson, worked to convince the Jones County Fair Board that a new cattle barn was needed. Through their efforts, their ‘team’ was able to demonstrate to the fair board that a new 4-H cattle barn would benefit 4-H livestock exhibitors for future decades. Ultimately, through fundraisers and securing donations, their ‘team’ was able to secure the funds necessary to build the new 4-H cattle barn.

Throughout their life-long commitment to farming, the cattle operation has been a central component to their overall success. Through the integration of purebred Simmental genetics, as a result of their son’s 4-H involvement exhibiting purebred Simmental breeding beef, the progeny raised has allowed the Davis’ to continually improve the overall quality of their commercial cow-calf  herd.  In 2014, the Jones County Cattleman honored Robert and Shirley by inducting them into the Jones County Cattleman Hall of Fame.

Robert and Shirley Davis have committed their lives to helping others succeed—whether it be youth in the 4-H and FFA programs or for efforts to improve their local community.

Categories: 2018, Jones

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