Posted on August 19, 2019 at 2:06 PM by Global Reach
“4-H has a different meaning to every person, but to me it means being part of the greatest organization in the world. It means being a part of democracy itself.” This is a quote from the 4-H record book of Don Applegate and is reflected to this day through Don and LaDonna Applegate of Oakland, East Pottawattamie County, Iowa.
Four generations of the Applegate family continue to be involved in the Westside Feeders 4-H Club. Don joined the club the year after it was formed and after they were married LaDonna showed her enthusiastic support for 4-H through their three sons, Doug, Dave, and Dean - as well as their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Volunteering their time through the years as 4-H leaders, members of the Oakland United Methodist Church and various community activities are just a few ways this couple has willingly pledged their hands to larger service.
LaDonna will always be remembered, not only for her love for life, family and friends - she will be remembered for her dedication to 4-H as she initiated the first Clover Kids program in East Pottawattamie County. One of the Pottawattamie County projects LaDonna was involved with was the planning and placement of the county Freedom Rock in Oakland, Iowa.
Don has many fond 4-H memories! Hauling his livestock in the old Chevy truck to the county fair in Avoca and showing livestock in the grassy area under the trees . . . his favorite were the Guernsey cows. Some names for his show animals are remembered as Marilyn Monroe, Popeye, Rusty, Nodhill, Princess Ann, and his registered Guernsey with the name of Stringtown Lulu. One of his favorite memories is National 4-H Club Congress when he rode the train to Chicago and stayed at the Conrad Hilton on Lakeshore Drive. He also enjoyed holding the office of vice president as a State 4-H Officer and staying at the Iowa State Fair for the duration. Don attributes his leadership abilities and speaking skills to 4-H. He enjoyed his time as a junior leader and a leader, as well as being a part of the County 4-H team. The County 4-H team would be involved in livestock judging, field crops judging, and weed identification judging. As a father, Don helped chaperone a busload of youth headed to Woodward, Oklahoma, for a 4-H exchange program.
Being involved in Nishnabotna Valley REC, NIPCO, Midwest Electric Consumers of Denver, Cooperative Finance Corporation, Basin Electric, and Dakota Gasification Company has been an integral part of Don’s life. Skills learned through 4-H have served him well while serving in these capacities.
To make the best better . . . Don and LaDonna share this motto in so many ways . . . through club and community, country and world.