affiliation with 4-H began when a neighbor girl invited me
to a meeting. Without my mother’s permission I joined the
West Grovettes 4-H Club that day.
4-H quickly became a
very important part of my life, and eventually for my three
sisters and brother. Each year was spent learning things
about home furnishings, clothing, or food and nutrition. I
especially enjoyed sewing and baking. We had to prepare at
least three exhibits for an achievement show and then, the
county fair. Other areas of interest were pursued as well,
including gardening and photography. Of course, we always
hoped an exhibit would be selected to go to the Iowa State
Fair. As an older 4-H member, I participated in the 4-H
Fashion Revue and enjoyed being a member of the 4-H County
In the summer we attended Bible school and then spent a
good portion of the summer working on 4-H projects and
exhibits. It was a busy household during a sewing year,
especially when four girls needed to use the one available
sewing machine The same was true when we were baking and all
of us needed to use the oven.
I learned so much from being a 4-H member and had
wonderful and dedicated 4-H leaders. We met once a month on
a Saturday at the nearby schoolhouse or at a member’s home.
We really got to know our neighbors and became friends with
them because of 4-H and riding the school bus together.
Older girls became mentors and helped younger girls learn.
During college, for one summer I was lucky to be hired to
work for the Humboldt County Extension office as a youth
assistant. The next summer, I worked for another extension
program, traveling to the smaller towns in Humboldt County
and worked with youth. I judged some achievement shows and
as an adult, was a 4-H judge at various county fairs for
My college years were spent at Iowa State University
where I received a degree in Home Economics Education and
continued to further those interests in 4-H. I taught
school for several years and later, while my children were
in school, became a substitute teacher.
While my children were 4-H members, I served as one of
the leaders for the Vernon Lassies 4-H club. Like the West
Grovettes club that I belonged to as a girl, the Vernon
Lassies club no longer exists, but there are many good
memories for the many girls and leaders who were a part of
Today I am involved in my church and volunteer on several
boards. Family is important to me and although our children
are grown, my husband, Rick and I keep in touch with them
What you can learn from being a 4-H member goes well
beyond what you learn by completing a single project. Being
involved with 4-H helps develop leadership and communication
skills. It helps a person to be more confident and makes a
person want to help others and give back to their
community. It is a wonderful organization and I credit much
of who I am to my involvement with 4-H.
You could say that 4-H was the start of this active
family. Scott and Jacki first met on a 4-H roller
skating trip when they were in 6th grade.
After completing their degrees at Iowa State University
they returned to the Humboldt area and have been
involved community members ever since. They are active
members of Faith United Methodist Church, have been a
part of the Relay for Life committee and sponsored
several calves in the “Share a Calf Program”.
Scott was member of West Grove Hustler’s 4-H Club,
showed cattle, pigs and sheep, and participated in
communication projects. He took part in the Chicago
Awards trip and attended State 4-H Conference. He was a
leader of Springvale Co-Ed 4-H Club. He is a member of
the Lions Club, and recently retired after 26 years as
an insurance agent. Scott has been a member of the
Humboldt County 4-H Foundation since it was created in
2008. He is currently the treasure of this organization.
Jacki was a member of Beaver Wide Awake’s 4-H Club.
She enjoyed working on her static exhibits for the fair
which led her to Iowa State to earn a degree in Home
Economics. A highlight of her 4-H career was attending
State 4-H Conference and traveling on the Chicago award
trip. She was a member of Jacyee Women. She served as
the vice president and manager of Power Coop Credit
Union for 36 years. She retired early this year.
Their oldest daughter, Andrea, was an active 4-H
member of the Springvale Co-Ed Club and served on State
4-H Council, Jill was also an active member of Girl
Scouts and received the Gold Award.
They have 5 grandsons and a granddaughter, with each
daughter having a set of twins. They are looking
forward to following their grandchildren’s activities
and continue their love for agriculture on their hobby
and Jean have been positive influences to the Humboldt
County 4-H program and have enjoyed the time they have
invested in this program. They were asked to be a part
of the program by former Humboldt County Youth
Coordinator, David Stephens.
The Holstes are Master
Gardeners. They have taught “Growing in the Garden”
curriculum to the Clover Kids club in the past and have
been our garden tour judges for several years. They
have also volunteered at the annual Ag Days for area 5th
graders held in Eagle Grove.
Daniel and Jean are judging assistants during the
Humboldt County Fair and help with setting up the
Daniel, a former teacher, has been our Science Club
leader since 2009.
Jean, a former librarian, has helped with our
babysitting clinic by sharing her love of books and
knowledge of age appropriate books. Jean is a former
Lucas County 4-Her.
Daniel and Jean have both been more involved with 4-H
was a member of the Rutland Lucky Stars of Humboldt
County for 8 years and later became a leader of that
club for 9 years.
By being a member of 4-H, Marilyn
made new friends, gained skills in homemaking, and
became a good citizen. She was able to pass this
information onto her own club and future generations of
4-Hers as a leader.
Marilyn was named Style Revue Queen at the Humboldt
County Fair in 1944, wearing the lace-trimmed
white-dotted Swiss dress she constructed. In 1947, her
long-time record book won a trip for her to the National
4-H Club Congress in Chicago. The following year
Marilyn was selected as one of four Iowa delegates to
the National 4-H Camp in Washington, D.C.
For the 2013 Humboldt County Fair, Marilyn supplied
4-H records, literature, and girls’ uniforms for a
Marilyn has encouraged and supported the 4-H program
not only in Humboldt County but other places through the
seven decades of her life. Her volunteer years as a 4-H
leader helped scores of young women learn the basics of
homemaking, leadership and citizenship.
Her member years brought outstanding personal
achievement and service as well as significant
historical 4-H recognition to Humboldt County.
began her 4H career as a 7 year 4Her in Humboldt
County belonging to the Rutland Lucky Stars. One of
her fondest memories was as a 12 year old. She made
a 3 tier gathered skirt that made it through
achievement show judging, county show judging, and
state fair judging awarding her a blue ribbon that
she still has today.
As an adult she continued to participate in 4H as a
leader of the Beaver Wide Awake Club for 10 years,
as well as holding a volunteer position on the Youth
When a job opportunity became available at the
Humboldt County Extension Office, Diane was asked if
she would be interested. She became the full time 4H
Program Assistant and Office Assistant and held that
post for almost 22 years. In her role with
extension, she was instrumental in developing and
planning the Environmental Agriculture Days for all
5th graders in the region teaching Sun
Safety, Fizz Bubble Goo, Girl Talk/Guy Talk, and
introducing the Clover Kids Program to Humboldt
County. She also enjoyed visiting schools during 4H
Recruitment Week, as well as connecting with the
home schooled community, to share her love of 4H
with the youth.
When she took the county position there were 70 4H
club members and she worked diligently to increase
the numbers to over 300! Today, Diane continues to
support 4H by judging county and state fair
When asked what the most rewarding part of her job
was, Diane said, “Did you happen to read the article
in the newspaper about Lisa David? She has become
one of the Top 50 Most Successful Women in the
Nation and has attributed her success as a public
speaker to the direction she received in 4H. She was
one of my members. I always pushed her to achieve,
and she did!”
Diane’s husband Wayne, who has always been
supportive of the 4H program and Diane’s efforts,
added “When we asked the kids to help with anything
they would do it. We had a lot of fun with the kids
and we still see them from time to time”
In closing, Diane commented, “I loved working with
the kids, it was a job I really loved. Looking back,
the memories are always good. There are a lot of
good kids out there!” She worked hard to build a
program that Humboldt County could take pride in.
The Humboldt County Extension Council is pleased to
nominate Diane Lehman into the 4H Hall of Fame for
her outstanding involvement in Humboldt and our
& Mary Reedy began their 4-H involvement as 4-H members
during the 1950’s Mary was a member of the Amity
Learning Lassies in Page County and as a member she
enjoyed: food projects (canning peaches), art projects
(learning about the color wheel), doing demonstrations
at the county fair and helping design a new 4-H building
at the Page County Fair Grounds. Mary is one of the
fortunate 4-H’ers that knew Jessie Field Shambaugh “The
Mother of 4-H”, as her aunt was a member of one of the
early clubs started by Mrs. Shambaugh.
Ron was a member of the Corinth Jr. Farmers in
Humboldt County. His favorite 4-H activity was
exhibiting cattle at the county fair. Club members
would tour each other’s farms prior to the fair,
holding workshops on prepping animals for
exhibition. Everyone looked forward to the picnic
following the tours. Besides club events and the
Humboldt County Fair; Ron especially enjoyed
attending 4-H camps.
These passions led Ron & Mary to continue giving
back to 4-H time and time again. Ron & Mary have
supported the Humboldt County 4-H Program both
financially and as dedicated volunteers. Mary
enjoyed volunteering as a judge’s assistant at the
Humboldt County Fair and with helping with various
4-H workshops and clinics. She greatly enjoyed her
time as a chaperone for the Citizenship-Washington
Focus trip (1992).
Together they created a scholarship fund to support
youth wanting to attend Animal Science Roundup
during the State 4-H & Youth Conference. In 2006,
Ron & Mary made the first donation to create the
Humboldt County 4-H Foundation. Since that initial
donation, the foundation has awarded several college
scholarships to graduating 4-H seniors, assisted
youth attending 4-H camps and trips and supporting
clubs with workshop funds. Ron has worked with each
Elevator & Coop in Humboldt County to set up Gift of
Grain accounts so farmers can donate grain to the
Humboldt County 4-H Foundation.
Ron & Mary believe the 4-H Program builds character
and teaches life skills. They are deeply honored to
be a part of the program and to be inducted into the
4-H Hall of Fame.
Frohling waited with enthusiastic patience to become a
4-H member following in the footsteps of her mother and
two older sisters in their 4-H experiences. She was
always willing to give demonstrations and lead workshops
and help organize activities.
Her stories indicate she really enjoyed food and
nutrition and was given firsthand experience when she
and her sisters were responsible for the food
preparation while their mother attended Drake University
to complete here BA.
She modeled the jumper and beret she sewed for the Style
Revue and received recognition for ‘Best Construction’.
By the following year she was sewing garments for her
wardrobe for school.
Another year she had two state fair entries and suddenly
felt that all the little things she learned were of
great benefit when tackling larger projects. This was
also the year she took on the challenge of club
president, won the Rural Electric essay contest for
Humboldt County a trip to Washington DC. This was also
the year she decided to take another college Physics
class the summer of her junior year as she had done the
previous summer taking a biology class.
In the last story written in her record book after a
very inspiring Rally Day and a Retreat she wrote “At
both of these moments I wished I was ten again and just
beginning 4-H again. I’d get more involved in projects,
camps, county workshops to reach beyond our local club.
I would have done more things so people would say ‘Hey!
That’s Chris Frohling! She really knows what 4-H is all
about!’ “During her 4-H career she was awarded the Iowa
Humboldt County has continued to present an annual award to the best
4-H club president in the county in her memory after her
untimely death due to an automobile accident.
Gates served the Iowa 4-H program for approximately 35
years. Her roles were many, starting as an assistant 4-H
leader when her daughter began her 4-H career. Diane was
very active and continued through her senior year of
After her daughter’s graduation, Bonnie continued to
serve on the local and county level. She was a 4-H
leader- organizing and chaperoning 4-H trips to a
variety of places such as Mayo Clinic, Betty Crocker
Kitchens, home tours, brewery’s and nature hikes.
Bonnie brought young 4-H’ers into her home to work on
sewing projects, cooking, candy making, etc. She judged
exhibits at the Humboldt County fair, style shows, and
also record books. She served several years on the 4-H
Youth Committee and the Humboldt County Extension
As she looks back over her 4-H day’s she wants to
encourage all in life to do the best you can.
Hill was raised on a farm near Thor in Humboldt County.
She started 4-H when she was ten years old and belonged
to the Beaver Wide Awake 4-H Club. She began with a
horse project and the required home economics projects
to demonstrate at the Humboldt County Fair. She has
maintained generations of her original horse to this
day. When she graduated from high school Pat became a
4-H Club Leader and has been a leader for 35 years in
Humboldt County. Currently, she is a co-leader for the
Bits & Bridles 4-H Club that generally has horse
projects, but members have other animals and projects as
well. Pat heads the horse project area for the Humboldt
County Fair and takes care of judges, advertising,
trophies, sponsors, and announcing at the horse show.
Pat also helps manage the 4-H Livestock Auction at the
Humboldt County Fair, keeping track of weights, bids,
and buyers. She also helps club members cook and serve
at the 4-H Food-stand during the fair. A little over a
year ago, she started serving on the new Humboldt County
4-H Foundation Board. This past year the 4-H Foundation
Board raised funds for scholarships and conferences with
an auction, food-stand sales, and donations. Pat is
very involved in Humboldt County charitable and service
organizations; Lion’s Club, FSA Board, Beaver Township
Clerk, Department of Human Services, Angel Gift Tag
Tree, and on council of Western Iowa Synod for
Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Pat said the best
things about 4-H are having such a wonderful family
oriented program and great way to meet people.
and Lois started 4-H as youth, Bob in Calhoun County for
9 years where he exhibited beef, swine, and sheep at the
Rockwell City and Manson fair. Lois was a member of the
Corinth Red Stars 4-H Club for 9 years where she
exhibited in three project areas at the Humboldt County
Fair and Iowa State Fair.
Lois was a Humboldt County 4-H officer, and a member of
a demonstration team that was chosen to show at the
Waterloo Dairy Cattle Congress. Lois was a 4-H Club
Leader for the Corinth Red Stars for 20 years and a
County Fair Judge for 20 years, including fashion
review, and now serves as a judge’s helper for the
Humboldt County Fair.
Their three daughters and two granddaughters were 4-H
members and received many blue ribbons at the local and
Iowa State Fair.
Bob and Lois were honored to be chaperones for 7 youth
who were awarded the 4-H Chicago Trip.
They are involved in the Humboldt Community. Bob has
served as a 17 year member and past president of the
Humboldt County Fairboard, was township clerk for 40
years, a member of St. Mary’s finance board when new
school was built, and served on cemetery board for 30
years. Lois is Community Fund chair for Corinth
Township, past officer of St. Mary’s Society, monthly
chair for funeral dinners and Christmas Baskets, and
chair for Women’s Day at the Humboldt County Fair. Both
Bob and Lois are members of Humboldt County Farm
and Janice have been strong supporters of 4-H for many
years in Humboldt County. All of Harold and Janice’s 4
children were involved in
4-H in Corinth Township and 8 of 9 of their
grandchildren have been involved in 4-H.
Janice’s mother was a 4-H member and adult volunteer for
over 25 years for Humboldt County. Janice grew up as a
4-H member in Beaver Township of Humboldt County.
Janice volunteers at the Humboldt County Fair, does
baking demonstrations for clubs, and enters baking
contests with her daughter at other fairs. Harold and
Janice’s family donated a large 4-H flag in memory of
Janice’s mother to the Humboldt County 4-H Program to
use at meetings, events, and fairs.
Both Harold and Janice are active volunteers at their
church and within the community. They are avid
promoters of 4-H to anyone they meet.
attending, Chicago 4-H trip, and many other events.
He helped with all 4-H Club tours held each year. Each
4-H’r explained their exhibit during the tours and it
was a good learning experience for 4-H’rs, parents, and
others who attended. Many livestock judging workshops
were held in the county during the tours. 4-H’rs placed
animals and gave oral reasons to practice for judging
contests and to learn how to select the best livestock.
Norm judged at the Iowa State Fair and several county
fairs. Since retiring from Humboldt County in 1986, he
has continued judging in many counties. “The big
improvement in judging 4-H exhibits at fairs is the 4-H
conference judging”, says Norm. In each case, the 4-H’r
explains his or her work, what they learned, what their
goals were, how their exhibit was made, and their plans
for next year.
He judged exhibits in the areas of science and
mechanics, Ag and Natural Resources, and gardening at
fairs. 4-H’rs have the opportunity to select and
develop so many different exhibits.
Fairs are just “one part” of the total learning
experience for youth involved with 4-H programs. Norm
says an exhibit is “one part” of participation in a
subject matter project area. Each 4-H’r is a winner for
trying a new experience. During the conference judging,
he tries to evaluate, educate, and encourage the 4-H’r.
In Humboldt County, he conducted many extension programs
and information on crops, livestock, farm management,
and other special extension programs. He helped
organize and worked with all crop and livestock
community groups. He carried on a huge narrow row
soybean field test, 15” vs. 30” row spacing’s. In
addition, grain drills and no-till planting of soybeans
was compared over the years.
Norm has enjoyed working with 4-H’rs, parents, and
farmers during the past 45 years. Norm and his wife,
Mavis, have four children; Nancy, Tim, Mark, and Teresa
and also have 10 grandchildren.
& Marilyn Nielsen own and operate KC Nielsen LTD, a John
Deere implement dealership in Humboldt, Iowa. Both Ken
and Marilyn grew up in Humboldt County and have raised
their family in Humboldt as well. Ken was a member of
the Grove Township 4-H Club and showed livestock at the
Humboldt County Fair.
Marilyn’s father, O.I. Carlson, taught school in Castana,
Iowa, after graduating from Iowa State University, then
moved to Monona County as an Iowa State University
Extension Agent for 3 years. He then moved to Humboldt
County Extension in 1943 to continue as an Iowa State
University Extension Agent. In 1947, Mr. Carlson moved
into being a John Deere dealer in Humboldt, Iowa. He
started supporting 4-H programs from that year forward.
Mr. Carlson established the First Year 4-H Member Award
program, which is for 4-Hr’s that completed their first
year in 4-H and have enrolled to continue in 4-H.
The first years Mr. Carlson’s award was taking the
4-Hr’s to the John Deere production plant at Waterloo,
Iowa. After several years, the trip was a Fun Day at
Clear Lake, with picnics, swimming, and games.
Ken & Marilyn joined the John Deere dealership in 1960
and have continued the First Year 4-H Member Award
program for 4-Hr’s ever since. When the production
plant tours were not available to young 4-Hr’s, the
Nielsen’s used the Happy Joe’s Pizza Parlor in Fort
Dodge for fun with Clowns and Clown Face painting.
In the 1980’s, the Nielsen’s started having a
ventriloquist, Elaine Elm, be the fun entertainment for
the First Year 4-H Member Award program. The program
has been held at the Pasquale’s Pizza restaurant in
Humboldt ever since then, and still continues today.
The Nielsen’s also helped begin and sponsor Farm Safety
training for 4-H Youth in Humboldt County.
Ken and Marilyn have been strong supporters at the
Humboldt County Fair each year. For several years they
have purchased many 4-H livestock projects
at the Humboldt County Fair Livestock Auction.
Ken said their office staff and employees have been a
big part of 4-H over the years. Many employees have
been 4-H families, and their John Deere implement
dealership has enjoyed sponsoring 4-H programs and
Humboldt Fair events.
and Sharon Erickson both grew up in Humboldt County.
Gary was in
4-H for 8 years starting in 1949 with sheep projects and
Sharon was in 4-H for almost 2 years with educational
Gary was the Humboldt County Lamb project leader for
many years and has served as the sheep superintendent
for the Humboldt County Fair for 15 years. He has also
served on the Fair Board for 12 years. Gary has been
involved in several sheep organizations serving many
people around Iowa, including: Iowa Sheep & Wool
Promotion Board, Iowa Sheep Association, and Western
Iowa Mid States Wool Growers. Gary and Sharon have
supplied lambs for 4-H exhibitors to show at fairs for
Sharon has served on the Humboldt County 4-H Youth
Committee for over 25 years, been a fair judge for
events in Hewitt Hall and helped 4-H leaders with
projects and record books. She still volunteers to help
at the Humboldt Fair. In addition, Sharon has helped
interview 4-H members for Iowa State 4-H Office and has
served on state committees for 4-H record books. Sharon
has also chaperoned for two 4-H Recognition Trips for
Humboldt County Award Winners and for two Citizenship
Washington Focus Trips for Humboldt County 4-H’ers.
Gary and Sharon’s children, Susan and Gayle, were 4-H
members and were involved in sheep, cooking, and
Gary and Sharon enjoy helping 4-H’rs grow, seeing them
develop, and building and strengthening their life
skills. Gary and Sharon have been awarding a Wool Shawl
to the winner of the 4-H Fashion Revue event at the
Humboldt Fair for over 25 years to recognize 4-H members
for sewing and constructing clothing projects.
Blythe was born and raised in Humboldt County where
her mother help start and charter the Vernon 4-H Club.
As an adult, Blythe served as a club leader, project
leader, judge, and fair volunteer. Blythe and her
husband Ed were one of the first families to help begin
and contribute to the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
began his association with 4-H as a ten year old and it
became a lifetime association. He became a 4-H club
leader in 1944. Homer and a co-leader organized the
boys’ food stand at the Humboldt County fair. They
raised $500 and sent the proceeds to the Iowa 4-H
Foundation to help build the camping center near
Madrid. Homer took one of the first Humboldt County
groups to the state camp after it opened and the new
lodges were complete. He continued to take his club to
winter camp for many years, taking 42 different groups
to various camps over the years.
Homer was a 4-H club
leader for 21 years. He was also a tri-county leader
for 3 years. Humboldt, Webster, and Pocahontas counties
had a club for senior high students and some graduates.
They enjoyed participating in projects, camps, and
activities together. Homer also organized 4-H
basketball and baseball teams for Humboldt County.
Homer and his wife Vivian hosted 3 International Farm
Youth Exchange people. The young people were from
Jamaica, India, and Finland.
Homer and Vivian have been married for 60 years and
have 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Their children
and grandchildren have been active in the Humboldt
County Fair and Iowa State Fair over the years.
Page online: 10 Apr 2018