Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 22, 2022 at 11:41 AM by Cade Cameron

Sharon FritchenSharon (Atwood) Fritchen has been a 4-H leader in Keokuk County for 39 years.  Her 4-H journey started in the early 1970s when she joined Stick-to-It 4-H Club for indoor exhibits and Riverside 4-H Club to show her beef cattle and sheep in Keokuk County for nine years.  She also had static exhibits, educational presentations, and clothing selections selected for the state fair. Sharon was also active on Youth 4-H County Council. In 1979 she received the State Record Book Award for Consumer Education and was awarded a trip to National 4-H Congress in Chicago. 

In 1983, Sharon became a leader of Riverside 4-H Club and served as leader until 2010.  Their son, Aaron, was a member of Riverside along with her niece and nephew. When it came time for their oldest daughter, Brenda, to start 4-H, Sharon organized a new 4-H club in the southern part of Keokuk County, with the first meeting held in January 2000. Their youngest daughter, Bridget, was a member of the Patriotic Panthers, which is the 4th generation. For 10 years, Sharon was the leader of two 4-H clubs until her nephew graduated, and she is still the organizational leader of Patriotic Panthers.

Sharon’s 4-H heritage began with her grandmother who was an original member of Cap E. Miller’s Home Culture Club, a forerunner to today’s 4-H clubs. Sharon’s mother was a 4-H member and was her 4-H leader of Stick-to-It. Her mother, Marie, was honored by being inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame for Keokuk County in 2009.

Sharon says, “The best reward and joy as a 4-H leader is to guide and watch members grow with their 4-H skills into wonderful adults and see them become leaders to give back in their communities.”

Sharon served on the Keokuk County Expo Fair Board for 22 years.  She started the 4-H flower planter auction, put the fair book together for many years, takes show ring/award photos for the website, and helps with and exhibits in open class. Sharon serves as poultry superintendent. You will also see Sharon at the Iowa State Fair watching Keokuk County 4-H and FFA members showing livestock and presenting communication projects. Sharon was honored to receive the Outstanding 4-H Leader award twice, and it is an honor to be nominated for the 4-H Hall of Fame.  Sharon and her husband, Nathan, reside on their farm in rural Ollie in Keokuk County.

Categories: 2022, Keokuk

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