Posted on August 19, 2019 at 2:22 PM by Global Reach
Wayne and Joan Hartsook began their 4-H journey as a couple in 1960 when the first of their children joined 4-H, and they kept busy with many aspects of the program until their last daughter completed 4-H in 1985.
In addition to encouraging many 4-H youth throughout Union County and the state, Wayne and Joan supported their two sons and five daughters in showing sheep, beef and dairy cattle, horses and dogs. The Hartsook children’s woodworking, clothing, food and nutrition and home furnishing exhibits and working demonstrations often went from the Union County Fair to the Iowa State Fair, Ak-Sar-Ben and the American Royal in Kansas City. Joan was co-leader of the Grant Go Getters 4-H club for 15 years and judged 4-H exhibits at many county fairs throughout the area. Both Wayne and Joan were members of the Union County Extension Council.
Since 1959, Hartsooks also supported the Union County Fair. Wayne was on the fair board for 21 years, serving as vice president and 4-H Exhibits Superintendent. He helped build most of the buildings on the fairgrounds, providing his carpentry skills through the years. As the second woman to become a member of the fair board, Joan served for six years and organized the Union County Fair Queen contest. She also was handy with a paint brush, helping keep the 4-H exhibit building looking its best.
Joan worked in the snack shack for 25 years and remembers when corn dogs were 50 cents each. Her “almost-world-famous” pies and cinnamon rolls have been served and auctioned to raise money for 4-H for too many years to count. Joan’s favorite memory of her time spent at the fair was when their daughter Diane (Sorrells) was crowned Union County Fair Queen in 1985.
Always supportive of her children and other youth, Joan became a faithful chaperone to state and national FFA events when her daughters were among the first girls to join the Creston FFA Chapter. She also served many years as a volunteer at the Greater Community Hospital gift and coffee shops.
For more than 45 years, Wayne, Joan and their family managed a successful dairy farm. They first sold cream and then milk while also raising chickens, hogs, beef cattle, sheep and kids. Wayne served as president of the United Farmers Cooperative Creamery in Afton for 12 years.
Devoted supporters of 4-H and family, these 4-H cheerleaders also traveled across Iowa, North Dakota and Colorado to 4-H events for their grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 2017, Wayne and Joan were honored for their contributions to the Union County Fair. Sadly, Wayne left us July 30, 2018, shortly after the county fair. Union County Friends of 4-H is pleased to honor Joan and the late Wayne Hartsook as inductees to the 2019 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.