Town History



Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductees
Thanks to Sarah Little for this database!


2017 Humboldt County: Deanna Nervig

My 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 Council.

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 several years.

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 that club.

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 daily.

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.

2016 Humboldt County: Scott and Jacki Lerdal

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 farm. 

2015 Humboldt County- Daniel and Jean Holste

Daniel 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 displays.

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 since retiring.

2014 Humboldt County - Marilyn Hundertmark

Marilyn 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 historical

4-H records, literature, and girls’ uniforms for a special exhibit. 

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.

2013 Humboldt County - Diana Lehman

Diane 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 Committee. 
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 exhibits. 
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 surrounding counties.

2012 Humboldt County- Ron & Mary Reedy

Ron & 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.

2011 Humboldt County - Christine Frohling

2011 Humboldt CountyChristine 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 Merit Award.

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.

2010 Humboldt County - Bonnie Gates

Bonnie 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 high school.

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 Council.

As she looks back over her 4-H day’s she wants to encourage all in life to do the best you can.

2009 Humboldt County - Pat Hill

2009 Humboldt County - Pat HillPat 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. 

2008 Humboldt County - Bob & Lois Molitor

2008 Huboldr County - Bob & Lois MolitorBob 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 Bureau. 

2007 Humboldt County - Harold & Janice Nostrom

Harold and Janice NostromHarold 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.

2006 Humboldt County - Norman Mokelstad

Norman Mokelstad4-H’rs 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.

2005 Humboldt County - Ken & Marilyn Nielsen

2005 Humboldt County - Ken & Marilyn NielsenKen & 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.

2004 Humboldt County - Gary and Sharon Erickson

2004 Humboldt County - Gary and Sharon EricksonGary 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 projects.

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 many years.

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 educational projects.

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.

2003 Humboldt County - Blythe Edge

2003 Humbolt County - Blythe Edge


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.



2002 Humboldt - Homer Eastman

2002 Humboldt - Homer EastmanHomer 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

Source:  https://www.iowa4hfoundation.org