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Alumni Spotlight: Ann Staudt

Floyd County 4-H alum Ann Staudt never sought to be a small business owner. Back in 2003, while pursuing her chemical engineering degree, a community education class focused on DIY herbal bath + body products caught her eye. “The art and science, the alchemy and aromatherapy … it was truly a whole new world of possibilities. Needless to say, I was hooked,” says Staudt. “While some of the early seeds were planted in my farm girl formative years (you’re looking at a 4-H Grand Champion herb gardener!), this new concept of using herbs and essential oils in handcrafted body care products filled me with such intrigue.” From there, she set up a mini lab with a hot plate in her dorm room and took over her mom’s kitchen during summer break. After researching, formulating, and crafting, Siberian Soap Co. officially launched in 2010. As a 4-H’er, Staudt was involved in communications, horticulture, photography, visual arts, food and nutrition and everything in between. She was a member of t
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4-H'er Feature: JD Bumgarner

  Inspiring creativity through welding JD Bumgarner has been in 4-H since 6 th grade as a member of two 4-H clubs in Clay County, the Meadow Motivators and a shooting sports club. His favorite project areas are creating pieces for the Bucket of Junk Challenge and visual arts. “I have always been interested in designing and drawing things.   Even when I was little, I would help my Dad put things together without having to look at the directions, which is a good thing since I have trouble reading,” JD says. JD has Cerebral Palsy, a brain injury, which makes it harder for him to process information quickly. His favorite types of classes have always been art classes, where he gets to use his creativity. And now that creativity has turned into a business. Through JD’s Creations, JD makes creative metal art and wood products for sale. His business was born after his mom signed him up for a 4-H Bucket of Junk Challenge. “The 4-H Bucket of Junk Challenge gave me the opportunity to d

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.  Af

Alumni Spotlight: Steven Brockshus

From club president to entrepreneur, our next alum used his experiences in 4-H to create opportunities. Steven Brockshus was an Ocheyedan Indian 4-H’er from Osceola county. Some of his projects included; showing dairy, chickens, food & nutrition, home garden, sewing, and much more. He also participated in the Share-the-Fun with his club and made it to the State Fair. He recalls showing chickens and cows at the county fair were among his favorite 4-H memories.  “Growing up in the country, I always loved going to the county fair. My older brother was in 4-H and I remember helping my dad lead and clipping calves with my brother,” says Brockshus. “Once I was old enough to join, I signed up right away and participated in every club activity I could. Our club was big on community service, fair projects and showing animals at the county fair – so that is a lot of what I did.” Looking back, Brockshus shares how 4-H taught him how to create a plan and stick to a project. It al

Alumni Spotlight: Lindsay Mickelson

When one thinks of 4-H, they might not jump to music. However, 4-H allows youth to develop skills that help in areas of creativity and performance. Lindsay Mickelson was a Dayton Tiger 4-H’er from Webster County. Involved in several project areas, she loved to show pigs at county and State Fair, cattle for a couple years, photography, baking and Share the Fun. “I have so many great memories from 4-H. From playing cards in the cattle barns with friends to earning trophies for raising a fine-looking pig,” says Mickelson. “Fair time was always my favorite time of year because it combined my two favorite things: hanging out with friends and tending to the animals. I can remember the first year when I started 4-H, we had our calves so tame we would lay on them in the barn, just because they would let us. Half the time the calves couldn’t care less, as long as they had food and water, they were happy.” Mickelson identifies 4-H as a steppingstone growing up, teaching her how t

Alumni Spotlight: Molly Foley

Molly Foley never imagined the path her past five years has taken. What started as a summer internship in Washington D.C. brought her to now work for the Governor of Iowa. What’s more evident in her story is the foundation 4-H built to help her succeed on a daily basis. Foley was a member of the Palestine Peppy Pushers in Huxley, IA. She was active in many project areas including horse, beef, sheep, food & nutrition, communications, citizenship and leadership. An initial standout memory for Foley was the Junior Sheep Showman class in 2003 at the Story County Fair. She had been practicing sheep showmanship all summer and was disappointed to be the first one pulled out of the line-up by the judge. (Normally means you are not in contention for the top of the class). After lining up the rest of the junior showmen, the judge began explaining to the crowd about the class. “The last sentence out of his mouth is one I still remember to this day: ‘I’m going to go with the young

Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Stallman

From Granger, IA to Los Angeles, CA, Sarah Stallman is making her music dreams a reality. Stallman was a Dallas Discoverers 4-H Club member. She was involved in multiple projects including horses, food & nutrition, rabbits, cats, dogs, educational presentations and working exhibits. A favorite memory for Stallman was an annual cheeseball fundraiser her club did that was a huge event for them. “I remember being in the school gym with all the club members and their parents, getting our hands all messy rolling up these cheese balls with different nuts and flavors and whatnot. We spent a lot of time on them, and just laughed and had fun while we worked hard at making our handmade product for our community.” 4-H provides opportunities youth would not necessarily get to experience in other avenues. For Stallman, that was citizenship projects. “Engaging in community service that expanded beyond my immediate family and friends was not something I would have pursued on my own,