Posted on August 23, 2021 at 5:34 PM by Emily Saveraid
Dick Wittry was first introduced to 4-H at a young age while living on his family farm near Mt. Carmel, Iowa. Due to being one of ten kids and moving to town in 6th grade, Dick did not have the typical 4-H journey and did not become involved in 4-H again until his two daughters became members of the Indianola Thunder 4-H Club. The family enjoyed all the activities that 4-H had to offer, with the girls showing rabbits, cattle and static entries at the Warren County and Iowa State Fairs. You could frequently find Dick frantically encouraging his girls with their 4-H exhibits. As his daughters got older, Dick became the leader of the Indianola Thunder 4-H Club. He enjoyed seeing the growth and development of the club members when he started to explore the possibilities of robotic and STEM activities for the 4-H members. As interest continued to grow in these project areas, he formed the Warren County Robotics Club.
The Warren County Robotics Club presented all kinds of possibilities and opportunities for youth when most thought 4-H was just for the farm kids. Dick held robotic workshops as a way of outreach to the community, drive interest in STEM activities in our youth and raise funds to support the program. Members of the Warren County 4-H Robotics Club competed for many years in the Bratney Challenge at the Iowa State Fair, as well as First Lego League and First Tech Challenge. As the program and club grew and developed, the Warren County 4-H Robotics Team competed and advanced to the First Tech Challenge World Championship in 2016.
Dick was also involved in 4-H as a member of the 4-H Youth Committee and also a board member for the Warren County 4-H Foundation. Over the years, Dick Wittry has been a judge for static 4-H exhibits and frequently volunteered for Food Safety Quality Assurance testing and classes and record book judging. Furthermore, Dick assisted with various 4-H workshops; not only for 4-H members, but parent volunteers and adults, as community outreach. He currently serves as a 4-H Building Superintendent for Science, Engineering and Technology at the Warren County Fair.
Dick encourages adults to reach out to your local county Extension Office for volunteer opportunities in your communities. You don’t have to be an expert, just have a passion for positive youth development.