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Alumni Spotlight Lana Shope

From Food and Nutrition Projects at the county fair, to winning state recognition for her pies and pastries, this 4-H alum used her time in 4-H to whisk up a passion for baking. 

Lana Shope was a member of the Chester Stars 4-H Club in Poweshiek County and the Columbia Climberettes 4-H Club in Tama County. She served on the Tama County Council and went to the Washington D.C. Leadership Conference. Shope loved the food and nutrition project area, but also participated in sewing, home improvement, educational presentation, and showed dairy cattle. 

“Farm work is hard, but the fair was an invitation to have fun with family and friends,” said Shope.

Shope said she learned great leadership skills and gained a greater awareness of her strengths throughout my time in 4-H. While watching her parent’s leadership in 4-H as club leaders and mentors, Shope learned what it meant to be a leader. 4-H fed into her competitive personality, which is why she continued to sharpen her skills after 4-H. 

After 4-H, she competed at the state fair for almost 20 years in the Food Division, entering between 60 – 90 items each year. After winning many state recognitions in the Food Division, Shope is now a judge at the Iowa State Fair and in the open divisions at county fairs. She enjoys teaching others many things that she learned while in 4-H.  

“I love to bake and create new, exciting products and I credit 4-H for instilling that in me,” said Shope. 

Shope continues to use her knowledge of food and nutrition in her work. She owns Pies by Lana Pie Cooperative, which has approximately 60 members who receive seasonal pies every month. She also creates pies and pastries for local coffeeshops and businesses and has shared her delicious creations at the 4-H Legacy Awards Desert Auction.  

Her time in 4-H taught her integrity, honesty, and tenacity. She uses all these values in her work today as a lobbyist. As the executive director of Iowa Community Action Association, she works with 17 Community Action Agencies that provide programs and services to Iowans with a low income in all 99 counties. Shope uses integrity and tenacity to earn the respect of legislators.  

Shope said she cherishes the time she had in 4-H, “I made lifelong friends, learned through all the activities that I was able to pursue. Everything from leading the 4-H Pledge at a club meeting when I was a junior 4-Her, to making a presentation at the State Fair in front of a few hundred people."

As a 4-H judge, Shope encourages all current 4-H’ers to take advantage of the many opportunities that are available to them. “Exposure to many different activities helps you to determine your strengths so you can become who you want to be,” said Shope. 

View a 4-H Reporter interview with Lana here


  1. I was in 4-H with Lana and she was such a hard worker. One year we detasseled corn in the morning and drove to county fair while still hemming a project in the car. Awesome family and neighbor!


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