Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 19, 2019 at 4:10 PM by Global Reach

Richard (Rick) and Sue Hammen of Clarion were not youth members of 4-H, but their contributions to 4-H and the club in adulthood reach far and wide, and that's why they have been selected as Wright County's 2019 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame inductees. Richard and Sue Hammen with award

When Sue (who grew up in Belmond) and Rick (who grew up in Clarion) had their two daughters - Kelly and Katie, they quickly discovered 4-H would be a great opportunity for them to get involved. They loved living on the farm, working with the animals, and growing food from the land. 

"When the girls were small, we did the Farmer's Market in Clarion," said Sue. "It was a great learning experience. They learned how to prepare vegetables;talk about produce; and how to make change."

When the girls were old enough the girls joined the Lake Clovers 4-H club in Wright County. Sue and Rick became actively involved - behind the scenes, and they've stayed that way for the last 31 years.

The very first year, Rick (who was then and today continues to be on the Wright County Cattlemen's Board) volunteered to be part of the 4-H food stand at the Wright County Fair. After the first year, Rick started the campaign that raised the money to build the food stand we all know, love and appreciate today. Sue became the assistant 4-H leader of the Lake Clovers.

One might think after their kids became adults themselves, Sue and Rick would turn their 4-H reigns over to the next generation, but they haven't. Why? Because they truly love it. Because of this, in 2004 Rick was presented with the Wright County Honorary 4-H Award. Sue received the same recognition in 2009.

Today, they both remain actively involved. Sue serves as part of the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 4-H/FFA Buying Group. Rick and Sue together conduct the interviews for the Bucket Bottle Calf program. This year, that interview process will be even more enjoyable as their first granddaughter will be participating in the event - and there are more 'grands' coming up. But Sue and Rick agreed, saying, "Our favorite part of the Wright County Fair is watching all the kids grow and develop over the years."

Sue and Rick have sponsored the Rate of Gain for Beef Trophy, and one of their most memorable times stems from that. One year, a young man who competed all over the county and won many trophies came up to them after winning at the Wright County Fair and said, "Of all the trophies I've won, this one means the most." When they asked him why, he simply said, "because I know the people who gave it to me." It left a lasting impression with the Hammens. 

Knowing they are appreciated is all the thanks they have ever, or will ever need. They are happy making the 4-H Program and its Wright County participants successful behind the scenes. In fact, they honestly did not know why they had received the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame recognition and were humbled by the nomination. "it's all for the kids," said Rick of why they continue to be so involved. "We are overwhelmed," added Sue. "We don't feel we have done anything special to be recognized."



Categories: 2019, Wright

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