Thursday, January 7, 2016

Alum of the Month

January 2016- 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 to providing opportunities for youth development and supporting 4-H programs throughout the state. “The Board of Trustees is a highly motivated and talented group of individuals who share the values and core principles of 4-H and are committed to ensuring its sustainability for generations to come,” said Nicholson.

Today, Nicholson owns his own company, Passport Food Safety LLC in Indianola, Iowa. He is also a Warren County 4-H parent and believes that he has had the good fortune to observe his son and daughter enjoying many of the same opportunities that 4-H provided him.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Alum of the Month

December 2015- 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 groomed for the show,” said Burroughs. “There was not a detail missed that day! I loved the feeling of excitement, anticipation and nervousness as a 4-H’er entered the show ring.”


When looking back, Julie has many childhood memories involving 4-H. “4-H was such a part of my family and community growing up,” said Burroughs. “I met lifelong friends and learned so many valuable lessons through 4-H. I wouldn’t trade my time with the Garfield All-Stars for anything.”



Today, Julie resides in Des Moines with her husband, Tony, and four daughters; Emma, Lily, Avery and Brynn. She is the owner of a local, all natural baby and toddler food company called Farm Baby Foods. Farm Baby Foods offers Stage 1 and Stage 2 all-natural baby food as well as convenient, resealable pouches, ideal for all ages. Each container or pouch of Farm Baby Foods is transparent, which make it easy for parents to see and know exactly what they are serving their children.


“All products feature BPA-Free, freezer safe, reusable packaging. The wholesome, mom-made treats are all-natural with absolutely no added ingredients,” said Burroughs. “No added salt, sugar, preservatives, artificial flavors or fillers, just the highest quality of produce.”


4-H taught Burroughs many important values like; community service, dedication, community awareness, leadership, discipline, friendship, hard work, integrity, problem solving, teamwork, accountability, responsibility and communication. As an adult, she thinks that making an effort to stay active in the 4-H community or giving back to 4-H is an illustration of leading by example.  “It is important to acknowledge each of our responsibilities (as Alum) to make sure the 4-H organization continues to offer fun-filled learning experiences as well as quality programming,” said Burroughs.

Learn more about Farm Baby Foods here.