Skip to main content

The Faces of Iowa 4-H: Holly Bignall

Name: Holly Bignall

Current Position: 4-H Program

E-SET Coordinator

Birthplace: El Paso, Texas

Other Locations: Illinois, Germany from age seven to eleven, and Iowa

Education: Undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa. Master’s in Women’s Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies from Iowa State University.

Past Work Experiences:

University of Northern Iowa - Cedar Falls, Iowa as a water quality project research assistant

Fort Dodge Animal - Fort Dodge, Iowa as a lab technician

The Imaginarium (hands on science museum) - Waterloo, Iowa as a science education director.

Hobbies/Interests: Being a mom, reading, biking and dancing.

Ultimate Goal in 4-H: Have a positive impact on kids by providing them opportunities to discover the fun and excitement of science, engineering, and technology. Help them become well-rounded citizens of this country, their communities, and their families because of the growth they experienced in 4-H.

I had the opportunity to interview Holly and I was extremely impressed by the way she spoke about her career and the 4-H program. What really left an impression on me was how fascinated she is with her job and how much she respects the people she works with everyday. Holly told me, “I love the people I work with! I work with the best people, and I have the best job. Everybody here genuinely wants to serve the youth, and we all care about each other. Everyone wants to be here, and we all believe in what we are doing and what 4-H is about!”

Like me, Holly was not a member of 4-H growing up and didn’t really know anything about it. She has now been working with 4-H for two and a half years. She helps run the E-SET program which stands for Extension Science, Engineering, and Technology. E-SET provides support to people doing science, engineering, and technology with youth. The goal is for the kids to have positive experiences so that they are excited to learn about and possibly go into science, engineering, and technology fields.

I asked Holly what she liked best about her job and she said, “I like that everything is different. I always have new projects and while it is hard it is exciting to pull it off in the end. It is so rewarding and I love having a part in that!”

What does 4-H Mean to Holly?

It means positive youth development and helping kids become healthier adults!

Holly and Antarctica Climate Secrets

Erika Pletcher


Popular posts from this blog

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: 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…

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…