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Holle Smith to be inducted into 4-H Hall of Fame

Ceremony is Aug. 18 at Iowa State Fair

July 18, 2013
Estherville Daily News

Holle Smith of Emmet County will be inducted into the 2013 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 18.

Eighty-two Iowa counties are participating this year and have selected 110 inductees for their outstanding service and dedication to 4-H. Inductees or their surviving family members will be presented a certificate by the Iowa 4-H Foundation as they are introduced on stage.

Holle will be recognized at 1:30 p.m. A reception will follow the presentations.

Holle Smith worked at the Emmet County Extension Office for over 30 years. When people in Emmet County think of 4-H, they think of Holle Smith. She believes in the 4-H program and the ideas that it represents, including its main goals of teaching life skills and hands-on education. She made a difference and touched the lives of many 4-H'ers in Emmet County through several generations with her encouragement. She instilled this love of 4-H in her children, Brad and Jennifer, which influenced their life goals as well.

Beyond her job as Emmet County's Extension Education Director, Holle put in many extra hours directly influencing 4-H'ers and the 4-H program. She worked hard to improve all aspects of 4-H in Emmet County. Even though Holle has a new job and no longer works for ISU Extension and Outreach, she still is asked 4-H questions wherever she goes.

4-H has impacted Holle's life since she became a member herself in Clarion, Iowa which just happens to be the birthplace of 4-H. Holle Mechem was a member of the Lincoln Lassies League 4-H club for 8 years. She was a very active 4-H member, participating in such things as; the Chicago Award Trip, State 4-H Conference, State 4-H Conservation Camp, Washington D.C. 4-H Citizenship Short-Course, District 4-H Camp, Livestock Judging, Horse Clinics, Club Tours, Dress Revue, Junior Day Camp and Campus 4-H. Holle enjoyed serving as a county officer and as secretary of the older youth 4-H group. She also held various offices in her club. Holle led many demonstrations and talks in 4-H and received numerous awards! In her record book Holle wrote, "If it weren't for 4-H, I could have never experienced these. Many of these activities I'll never forget in my life time."

Some of her favorite project areas that she was enrolled in were Beef, Clothing, Food & Nutrition, Horticulture, Home Improvement, Horse, and Junior Leadership. She showed her beef at the Wright County Fair, Iowa State Fair, and AK-SAR-BEN. In fact, her record book reveals that she named her calves each year, including; Gus, Charlie, Dandruff Dan, Tricky Dicky, Spiro, Snoopy, Red Baron, and Teddy Bear.

This excerpt from Holle's record book that she wrote in 1972 describes her 4-H experience and helps you understand why she believes so strongly in the 4-H program:

"Wow! 4-H is an opportunity! It's a beginning! It's the birth of a real individual. 4-H gives man a future! Through 4-H, I have come out of a shell of shyness and now enjoy meeting new people. To succeed in this world successfully you must be able to meet people! I feel I have found myself through 4-H work. Because of the contact with 4-H people, I know I believe I can help this world. I am majoring in Home Economics Education at Iowa State University. I hope to teach Home Economics or work with the Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H has interested me in Home Economics and you could say it's given me my future and I know it will continue to help me in the future."

"Counties select inductees for their exceptional work in contributing to the lives of 4-H members and the overall 4-H program," said Marcy Sander, County Youth Coordinator for Emmet County, "and Holle sure fits that description!" Many inductees served as club leaders, youth mentors, fair superintendents or fair board members, Iowa State University Extension county council members, county youth council members, fair judges, financial supporters, chaperones or ISU Extension and Outreach staff members. The inductees have demonstrated dedication, encouragement, commitment and guidance to Iowa's 4-H'ers through the years.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the counties and state to recognize and celebrate 4-H volunteers and staff who have shown outstanding service and dedication to Iowa's 4-H program," said Chris Gleason, 4-H youth program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was initiated in 2002 to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of 4-H. A summary of previous honorees will be on display at the 2013 Iowa State Fair in the 4-H Exhibits Building.

Congratulations to Holle Smith for her accomplishments and for being selected as Emmet County's 2013 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Inductee!



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