Skip to main content

Posts

Summer FourWord and Alumni Spotlight: Katie Ruff

Katie Ruff, Clayton County 4-H alum, was a student at Kirkwood Community College, and later the University of Northern Iowa, who hoped to become a teacher. Now, she's an Iowa State University alum, a young entrepreneur and the owner/operator of her store, By The Spoonful, in McGregor, Iowa.
You may wonder how Katie went from future educator to successful entrepreneur, and how this ties back to Iowa 4-H. We sat down with Katie to find out more about how her 4-H experience helped shape her as an adult and helped her get to where she is today.
Katie came from a family that was passionate about 4-H. As soon as she was old enough, she became a member of the Girard Eager Hands in Clayton County and exhibited projects in areas ranging from swine to home improvement and anything in between. Her favorite, however, was food and nutrition.
Katie's passion for all things 'kitchen,' came from her grandmothers. She had the opportunity to experiment on all kinds of recipes with ingre…
Recent posts

Alumni Spotlight: Maureen Hanson

Maureen HansonPatience, responsibility, compassion, and cooperation. These are just a few words that come to mind when Maureen Hanson thinks of the values she learned through 4-H.
Maureen was an active member in Clinton County, Iowa for nine years as a member of the Junior DD and DDD, better known as DeWitt Darling Daughters, in DeWitt, Iowa. She also was a member of the DeWitt Hustlers, which at the time was considered a “boys club”, in order to show her livestock.
Maureen has multiple favorite 4-H memories, but the best was attending Intermediate Camp at the Iowa 4-H Camping Center at Madrid.
“I still vividly remember so many details of that week, and it was a life-changing experience, all for the better,” she says.
Maureen is still very active in 4-H activities, serving as a Clover bud leader in Benton County for seven years, a leader of the Bruce Boosters 4-H Club for almost nine years, and assisting with the Benton County Livestock Judging team, and it doesn’t stop there! She has…

Designing Her Future: Lauren Hansen

A Boone County 4-H’er takes her hobbies to the next level.

Seventeen-year-old Lauren Hansen, a member of the Luther Livewires from Boone County 4-H, recently found herself at the 2018 Omaha Fashion week as one of eight featured designers chosen to showcase their original fashion lines at the INNOVATE Feature Designer Showcase. This accomplishment is proof of what happens when passion, talent and hard work combine.
Hansen joined 4-H and began sewing in 2008 at the age of seven with her grandma. Through 4-H she was able to find an outlet to sew and make new projects such as napkins, doll quilts, and eventually clothing. Lauren sewed quilts until she was 12 and decided to take a little break until 2014, and then she was right back at it.

“I was interested in making clothing because I thought it would be a fun hobby,” said Hansen. “We got out the sewing machine again and got some cotton to take some Jo-Ann Fabrics classes.”

Although she has participated in many 4-H project areas over the ye…

Alumni Spotlight: Tom Nicholson

“I am honored and excited to become the new president of the Iowa 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees,” said our January Alum of the Month, Tom Nicholson. Nicholson was a member of the Center Trail Blazers 4-H Club in Calhoun County where he served on Calhoun County Council and State 4-H Youth Council.  He also attended many State 4-H Conferences and National 4-H Conference. 

“Through 4-H, I developed a passion for raising and showing livestock and gained other valuable skills in leadership, communication and teamwork that I’ve been able to apply in my personal life and throughout my professional career,” said Nicholson. “My 4-H experience has provided me an opportunity to meet and share a common interest with many leaders in agriculture and other industries.”

Nicholson has served on the Iowa 4-H Foundation board for five years. In October 2015, he was chosen by his peers to be the newest Iowa 4-H Foundation Board President. Nicholson believes that the Iowa 4-H Foundation is committed …

Alumni Spotlight: Julie (Wolterman) Burroughs

From State Fair Queen to baby food producer, our December Alum of the Month has used the skills gained from her 4-H experience to propel herself to success. Julie (Wolterman) Burroughs was a member of the Garfield All-Stars 4-H Club for nine years in Ida County. Some of her projects included; showing cattle, quilting, knitting, woodworking, child development and much more. She also participated in Clothing Selection, Fashion Revue and 4-H Council. 
Julie’s favorite 4-H memory was when she was crowned the 1993 Iowa State Fair Queen.  “The competition was such a valuable experience and my year as Queen, representing Iowa, was phenomenal,” said Burroughs. “The opportunity was such an honor and defined my 4-H experience.” Burroughs went on to coordinate the Iowa State Fair Queen Competition of 14 years.
Another fond 4-H memory Burroughs has is showing livestock. “I loved the energy and sense of community on livestock show day. The entire Club worked together to get the cattle washed and g…

Alumni Spotlight: Eric Hanson

Award winning KCCI 8 News morning anchor, Eric Hanson is our November Alum of the Month. Hanson graduated from Roland-Story High School. He grew up on a farm with his parents and his three siblings, who were all involved in 4-H in Story County. “4-H is important to me because it strengthen my communications skills,” said Hanson. Hanson also says the 4-H taught him confidence, leadership and communication.

He was an eight year member of the Howard Rockets and participated in swine, dog, rabbit, woodworking, rocketry, photography, communication, leadership and much more. Hanson’s favorite 4-H memory was during dog obedience class. “Dog obedience class was every Tuesday night in Ames,” said Hanson. “My 4-H leader picked me and my dog up, drove us to class with 100-ish others and we’d always go to Burger King afterwards, bonding as a group.” Hanson also met First Lady Barbara Bush in 1991 at Living History Farms and gave her a one on one presentation about tractor safety. After high school…

Alumni Spotlight: Mary (Kaiser) Veatch

Livestock. Friends. Family. Memories. These are just a few things that come to mind when Mary (Kaiser) Veatch thinks back to when she was a 4-H’er. Mary was a 10-year 4-H member of the Monroe Happy Hustler 4-H Club and a four year Benton County Council Member.  After graduating from Union High School, Mary did not run away from 4-H, she was the Benton County Summer Intern for three years (2000-2002) and the State 4-H Summer Intern- Livestock (2003-2004). In December, Mary will celebrate her tenth year as the Iowa County Youth Coordinator.
Along with her siblings; older sister Katie, twin sister Carrie and younger brother Mark, Mary participated mainly in the Swine project area.  The whole Kaiser Family could be seen showing hogs at the local, state and national levels.  “Every show we attended, my parents had a standard that we were encouraged to speak to industry leaders and meet new friends. On our trip back home, we had to share who we met and what we learned after the show; the ju…