Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 7:38 PM by Global Reach

Nancy SchmidtNancy Schmidt’s involvement with 4-H began as a member of the Cinderellas 4-H Club in Washington County.  It was there she learned to set goals and work to reach them, skills that served her well throughout her career.  Her project areas in 4-H prompted her to go into Home Economics as a career and later extension work. 

During her 24-year career in Extension Nancy served as the Washington County 4-H Youth Coordinator, the Washington County Extension Director and as an Extension Youth Development Specialist serving 5 counties, including Washington. 

4-H holds many good memories for Nancy.  As a 4-Her she was awarded a trip to Chicago. She visited Washington, D.C., on the citizenship trip as a 4-Her and later as a volunteer.  As a summer 4-H intern in Washington County, Nancy remembers a love/hate relationship staff had with the old mimeograph machine, and later their first computer – so big it would hardly fit on a desk -- and making recordings for the radio station on a reel-to-reel tape recorder.  She acknowledges technology has been the biggest change to communication.

It was during Nancy’s tenure that 4-H clubs began transitioning to coed clubs and non-gender specific club names.   She also initiated 4-H Clover Kids for the county, which has grown to eight clubs and 156 members.   Nancy re-introduced the babysitting course which still trains nearly 40 new babysitters each year. 

Those who had the privilege of working with Nancy speak to her organizational skills and ability to handle situations with a calm, thoughtful manner.    “Nancy’s leadership continues to show in Washington County 4-H. When I was a 4-Her, Nancy taught me the first steps in becoming a leader and a mentor. Nancy taught me how to build leaders, which are the past and current members and volunteers of Washington County 4-H.   Her ability to lead by example has contributed to the rich tradition of 4-H.”

Nancy noted that volunteers are the heart of 4-H and Extension programming.  She loved feeling the success of the 4-H program and watching kids grow into leadership positions in the 4-H organization, which helped them in other areas of their life.

Nancy sums it up best herself, “4-H has provided me with many opportunities.  As a 10-year 4-H member, I learned ‘how to’ skills in a variety of subjects, and developed leadership and communications skills.  All of that helped me in formulating my career goal in education......from teaching home economics to my 24 years in extension education.    I continue to support the 4-H program and its success in developing young people with the guidance and support of adult volunteers.”

Categories: 2018, Washington

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