Posted on August 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM by Global Reach
Janel Maurer is extremely deserving of this year’s Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame from Clay County. Janel serves on the Clay County Poultry Committee and was a club leader for the Lincoln Lions in the past.
Janel has done wonderful things with youth in our community. In her nomination, Clay County 4-H Committee Member Bri Pullen said “She has really made an impact on our family, especially with our youngest son, Brycen. Brycen has a diagnosis of high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. With this, it is difficult to get him to socialize with people outside of our immediate family. He has serious difficulties with anxiety, which will cause bouts of behavior issues. However, he and Janel have built a beautiful bond with each other….Every step she takes with Brycen, they are teaching each other SOMETHING. Whether she is teaching him about a process, or he is teaching her about a rare species. They are sharing knowledge with each other. This time together has definitely been beneficial for Brycen. He loves to share these experiences, stories, time, and bond with her. She has become a part of his family.”
Her true impact comes in the personal relationships she forms with youth that continues throughout their lives. There are so many stories of Janel helping a youth with a project, teaching them to can something, helping them butcher a turkey, letting them keep their broiler chickens at her house, lending Larry the turkey for classroom visits, kids stopping at her house in the middle of the night to help with a turtle they caught, chasing roosting chickens out of trees in the middle of the night so they could be showed at the fair, and the stories go on and on.
Janel does this for no more reason than just the joy of watching children grow and develop. She is the example of a servant volunteer that seeks no recognition for her service, and in all likelihood does not even realize the great impact she has on so many, but that’s precisely why she deserves this great honor.