Posted on August 22, 2022 at 10:38 AM by Cade Cameron
Although he passed away earlier this year, Black Hawk County is truly honored to recognize Lyle Guldager for his many years of outstanding support of our 4-H program.
Born in 1934 on a farm west of Cedar Falls, Lyle’s family raised dairy cattle, beef cattle, hogs, and chickens in addition to producing annual crops of corn and soybeans. In 1944, as soon as he was eligible, Lyle joined the local boys 4-H club in Black Hawk Township. He considered showing his prized Holstein heifers in the 4-H county fair one of the biggest achievements of his 4-H career. Years later, Lyle pointed out that he thought of the era he was in the organization as the “Golden Years of 4-H.”
Each of his six children, Yvonne ‘Toni’, Tammy, Tim, Lynne, Gloria, and David grew up experiencing 4-H in Black Hawk County as well.
While Lyle had many jobs throughout his life, he found his greatest satisfaction was being a farmer. After purchasing his father’s beloved Farmall International Harvester tractor, he had it restored. Proud of the older model, he took it to local festivals, shows, and parades, from Cedar Falls to Hudson to Independence. In many of these parades, he made it possible for Black Hawk County 4-H clubs to take part by riding on their decorated floats. Fueled by his favorite combination of Orange Crush and chocolate donuts, Lyle waved to the crowds from the seat of his old red tractor while expertly towing 4-H youth on a hay rack wearing their clover green! He did this for decades.
Lyle loved the Black Hawk County 4-H and FFA Fair. After serving in various capacities throughout the years, he was a long-time volunteer for static judging check-in duties, especially in the personal development project area. He also made it a point not to miss the beef show.
As a lifelong 4-H supporter, Lyle established the Guldager Family Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Merit Awards in Black Hawk County, given in memory of his parents. These awards recognize youth who show strong interest in 4-H through active participation in club activities, as well as strong personal character and enthusiasm for 4-H. Lyle personally presented all recipients with an engraved pen, a smile, a firm handshake, and a joyful heart.
Lyle is missed by his Black Hawk County 4-H family, but his spirit endures through his legacy and generosity to our program. We wish he could be at the Iowa State Fair to receive this award, knowing it would have him beaming ear to ear.