Posted on August 19, 2019 at 2:03 PM by Global Reach
Iris Hemmingson got her 4-H roots started in Mitchell County, Iowa. She was a member from age 10 through high school graduation. She then attended Iowa State University to study home economics because of her connection with the ISU Home Economist while in high school. She felt it was a valuable degree any woman could attain for managing a family, household, and caring for a husband.
Following college she married Dr. Les Hemmingson. They settled in Plymouth County in 1965 where she became active in the Le Mars community. She helped start the first all-day kindergarten in which she was the classroom aid. She later became the Food Service Supervisor at Floyd Valley Hospital. She also worked for the state health department for area nursing homes. Iris is very active in preserving the history of Le Mars, where she serves on the Historical Preservation Committee. She also coached Little League and served as a Girl Scout leader. She received the Mainstreet Volunteer of the Year award in 2012.
Iris’s contributions to 4-H began during her college years. She would help 4-H’ers during the summers with their fair exhibits and other 4-H activities in Appanoose and Washington counties. She then judged numerous county fairs throughout Iowa. Les and Iris have two daughters, Kaaren Hemmingson Eidea and Dr. Marda Hemmingson Beek. She encouraged them to participate and do 4-H projects because she felt it would help them for the rest of their life whether making linens, restoring furniture, or learning how to select a wardrobe.
Iris helped start a 4-H club in Plymouth County and would later be a leader of the Young Americans 4-H club. She has volunteered on the Fair Communications Committee for many years and served on the 4-H and Youth Committee. She currently still serves on the Record Keeping and Awards Committee, Fair Sub-Committee, and is a Plymouth County Fair volunteer. Iris states, “4-H is a valuable and worthwhile activity for youth. It stretches each person in ways that are suitable for them. It encourages organization and teaches skills they will use forever.”
As Plymouth County 4-H’s longest serving volunteer of 44 years, we are blessed to have learned and work alongside Iris as she has shaped the lives of so many young people in Plymouth County!