Posted on August 21, 2018 at 2:52 PM by Global Reach
Duane and Mary Bass’ involvement in 4-H started in rural Jefferson and Van Buren counties with local 4-H clubs. They had no idea the leadership and life skills they were learning would be so important in the future.
Fast forward though dating, marriage, Iowa State University, a growing family and a career offer from John Deere Ottumwa Works we find the Bass’ establishing roots and a farm in rural Wapello County. 4-H once again makes an appearance in their lives. Daughter, Kelly as a horse crazy kid with her projects and son, Russ leading red cows or sometimes the cows leading him, gave Duane and Mary the perfect opportunity. It was their chance to instill the skills they learned in 4-H to their own kids and any kids hanging out on their farm or at the fair that might need a hand. The Bass’ have been Wapello County 4-H supporters ever since.
Retirement from John Deere Ottumwa Works allowed Duane to serve on the Wapello County Expo Board and continue the Bass tradition of 4-H. Duane and Mary have been active in all aspects of the Expo, fundraising and countless hours of volunteering at the new facility. So active in fact, Duane was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2017.
I’m sure that Duane and Mary had no idea the impact they were going to have on past, current and future members when they were just kids in the 4-H organization.
Duane has said, “We believe in 4-H and these kids and that is why we do it.”