Posted on August 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM by Global Reach
Sandy Bland was raised on her family’s farm in Wilton, Iowa. Her involvement in 4-H started during her youth as a member of the local girls 4-H Club, the Farmington Fairies, and the county’s boys/agricultural club, the Farmington Flashers. After about five years of showing dairy cows she decided to leave livestock to her brother and sister, and devoted more time to her favorite project areas; sewing, food and nutrition, and fashion review. A few of her favorite 4-H memories were performing a skit for Share-the-Fun at the Iowa State Fair and participating in the 4-H Youth Exchange program where she traveled to stay with a family in Eastern Pennsylvania and her family reciprocated hosting some exchange students at their farm.
As a 4-H parent, Sandy supported her daughter, Kendra, with fair projects and exhibits, teaching her about baking, sewing, crafting, home improvement, and many other project categories. Sandy encouraged Kendra to participate in 4-H at many levels; the local 4-H Club, Dallas County Council, Central Area Council, and State Council. She was always willing to drive Kendra to catch a bus for a 4-H trip (4-H Intermediate Trip to Minneapolis, Citizenship Washington Focus, and National 4-H Congress).
Sandy was a loyal volunteer to Dallas County in many ways. She was a longtime leader and assistant leader of the Boone Progressors 4-H Club and the Dallas County Council. Both clubs did many community service projects that Sandy helped to coordinate - they planted flowers at the Brookview Elementary School and the Waukee Public Library, visited local care centers to play BINGO with residents, collected food for the Waukee Food Pantry, and adopted a section of highway doing cleanup annually. As club leader she planned field trips and learning opportunities for members, scheduled guest speakers, and came up with themes and activities to do at monthly 4-H meetings. Sandy spent many of the Dallas County Fairs volunteering - anything from collecting tickets to working in the 4-H Food Stand. She also helped to coordinate Barnyard Olympics for several years as well as a county fair dance for 4-H youth. Sandy ran Dallas County’s Clothing Event Day from 2003 - 2009. She also served a term on the Dallas County Extension Council from 2012 – 2016.
Sandy passed away in August, 2016, and her family wanted to honor her legacy and love of 4-H. They requested that funeral donations be made out to the Iowa 4-H Foundation and they also purchased a brick in her memory, which was placed outside of the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair Grounds.