Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 23, 2021 at 4:58 PM by Emily Saveraid

Paul & Margot EnessStory County honors Paul Eness, who died in 2020, and Margot Eness for their outstanding support of Story County 4-H. 

Dr. Paul Eness served as Story County Fair and Iowa State Fair Veterinarian and Franklin Happy-Go-Luckies 4-H Club leader until his retirement from Iowa State University Clinical Sciences in 1996. Paul and Margot Eness served several terms on the Extension Council and Fair Board.

Paul joined 4-H as soon as he was eligible, in 1946, at the time Story County’s expanding program was guided by C. J Gauger and then Jim Christy. His first project was a purebred dairy heifer, later he raised sheep and pigs. When Paul was club president, sisters Kay and Margot Bannister asked to join the club. They had moved from the city but were interested in livestock. The Franklin Happy-Go-Luckies boys welcomed the newcomers who started with lamb projects. 

Paul served as assistant club leader through his 4 years at Iowa State where he graduated in Dairy Science. After Paul served in the Army, Margot finished college and Paul enrolled in Vet School, they married, started a veterinary practice and started a family.

In 1968, Paul returned to ISU as Associate Professor in the Clinical Science Department (Ambulatory Services).  The family lived on an acreage with plenty of room for 4-H livestock. Through the nearly 20 years children, Molly, Dana, Allison, Danny and Jason were in 4-H, Paul was the club leader and the authority on the livestock projects. 

Jesse Shoemaker, former Franklin Happy-Go-Luckies 4-Her and now a successful attorney, writes that she loved being around the Enesses, loved the barn and garden tours each summer and the intense competition at the fair to continue the club’s streak as Herdsmanship champions. “Paul and Margot,” she writes, “were our center: genuine, kind, steady and generous. Mostly I learned about what it means to be a good human – to take care of your herd- and I will always be grateful for their service.”

Paul and Margot made it possible for 4-Hers living in town to raise and show livestock by providing barn space (with complimentary animal husbandry advice) where they could raise their lambs, goats, and calves.

From their 4-H grandchildren they learned about bottle bucket calves, obedience training dogs, model horse shows and rocketry. And their granddaughter Lydia was crowned 2015 Story County 4-H Fair Queen! 

Paul and Margot loved everything about Story County 4-H—starting from their years as 4-Hers, to the kids, the crises, the triumphs, and the pies at the Methodist Church ladies’ food stand at the fair! 

Categories: 2021, Story

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