Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


April 20, 2010

Small in number but large at heart, Lucas County 4-H club extends challenge

AMES — Not to be discouraged by their numbers, the small Country Clover 4-H club of Lucas County continues to do big things. The three-member club inspired 75 clubs, two county councils and two businesses in Iowa to respond to their community service challenge, and some of the clubs were more than 15 times their size.

“We’re an old club, but most of our members were seniors last year,” said their leader Tammie Ruth. For the club, however, their challenge was never about the numbers anyway. “The clubs didn’t tell us how much money they gave, but that’s not what we wanted to know anyway. We didn’t set an amount, and we don’t want to make it a contest.”

It started last November when the club decided to donate their annual pizza party funds to their local food bank and then challenged every county and 4-H club in the state to reach out to their local food pantries during the holiday season.

Some clubs sponsored a family or two in their county and bought gifts for every member. Others also bought food for their adopted families. They went to shelters and served food over the Christmas holiday. They organized bake sales. They hosted food drives, and many donated money or additional non-perishables to their local pantries. Like the Country Clovers hoped, though, it was hardly the size of the donations that mattered to many.

Small Efforts Aren't “Small”

“You find out that small things are not small at all,” said Laurie Pemberson, leader of the Go Getters 4-H Club of Washington County. “It makes a big difference to someone else, and it makes a big difference in their (the 4-H’ers) character.”

Fellow Washington County 4-H club leader Nancy Adrian agreed. “It makes a big impact on the community when they see kids pitching in and taking part in service, and it’s definitely important for the kids. They need to share part of the responsibility in supporting the community,” said the leader of the Good Luck 4-H Club.

4-H'ers Give Back to Communities Year-Round

These efforts, however, are only a small sample of what 4-H’ers do all year long. Planting trees, picking up trash in parks, helping out at community fundraisers, maintaining the state 4-H camp, building benches and picnic tables for their community, landscaping and painting county fairgrounds, sending care packages to soldiers overseas and cleaning roadside ditches are only a fraction of what 4-H clubs across the state do year-round to give back to their communities.

“When the challenge came out we knew we would participate because we’re a very service-oriented club,” said Karla Kenne, leader of the Lott’s Creek Lassies and Lads of Kossuth County. “It’s not just about community service now either. It’s for when they get older too.”

Murray Monson, leader of the Harrison Hilltop Hornets all-boys 4-H club of Boone County, agreed. “The 4-H motto about giving your head, heart, hands and health says it all,” he said. “I have two boys ages 24 and 26, and they continue to go places and volunteer. It all started with 4-H and helping people. 4-H is a beginning.”

Those exact things are what Ruth and the Country Clovers hope to encourage with their extended challenge deadline. They have already put together a three-ring binder and display of all the newspaper clippings and pictures they received from clubs that responded to the initial challenge, and they hope to hear from more clubs across the state by May 31 to add to their project.

“A lot of people think they have to do something above and beyond what they normally do to respond to the challenge. We want them to be aware that a lot of clubs already do community service and recognize those that do,” said Ruth, “and we just hope people will continue to give. Hunger has no season.”

About the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America with programs in leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. One in five Iowa school-age youth participates in 4-H. In Iowa, 4-H Youth Development is headquartered at the Iowa State University campus in Ames. 4-H is supported by federal, state and county funding, private grants and donations, and fees. For more information about joining 4-H, contact your Iowa State University Extension county office at or visit

Text Only
  • Farming impact in Appanoose County A look at what farming in Appanoose County contributes to the economy during Ag Week, March 24-28. Information supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2007, there were 731 farms in Appanoose County with an average size of 271 acre

    March 27, 2014

  • Renew Rural Iowa Program expands WEST DES MOINES -- Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa program, which has helped more than 2,500 Iowans successfully own and grow their business since the program launched in 2006, is bringing new offerings to Iowa entrepreneurs in 2014. New seminar

    March 25, 2014

  • MCM training Monroe and Appanoose County landowners and operators are invited to attend an information/training session on CRP Mid Contract Management on Wednesday, March 26. Kevin Anderson, a DNR wildlife biologist, will discuss and answer questions on MCM along

    March 19, 2014

  • Agriculture, crop and livestock sales increased DES MOINES -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today said the recently released 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary data show Iowa has seen dramatic increases in the total value of agriculture production, value of crops sold and value of

    February 28, 2014

  • Local farmer wins $2,500 for Franklin Farmhands Ernie Schmell of Appanoose County has been selected as a winner in America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Schmell selected Franklin Farmhands 4H to receive the $2,500 donation in Appanoose County. Members of the Franklin

    February 26, 2014

  • Award to recognize Iowa's farm families DES MOINES -- The Iowa State Fair, Tractor Supply Co. and WHO News Radio 1040 are searching for six farm families to recognize with the Way We Live Award at the 2014 Fair, Aug. 7-17. These families must exemplify farm values derived from hard work an

    February 8, 2014

  • Livestock production program for 4-H to be developed AMES -- Youth participating in 4-H are the focus of a new Iowa State University livestock education program. Amy Powell was recently hired to help develop an online curriculum to teach youth in 4-H about raising livestock. The new Extension and Outre

    February 8, 2014

  • 020614 4-H Awards Photo 4-H holds awards ceremony On Saturday, Jan. 11 the Appanoose County 4-H program held their awards banquet to celebrate the successes and achievements of the youth involved in 4-H. The evening began with a welcome by members of the Appanoose County 4-H Youth Council. The prese

    February 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loebsack praises Senate passage of Farm Bill WASHINGTON, D.C. - Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the Senate passed the five-year, bipartisan farm bill sending it to the president for his signature. Loebsack has been fighting for over two years to get a long

    February 6, 2014

  • Focus on measures that benefit all Iowans WEST DES MOINES – Iowa Farm Bureau Federation members will continue to work to advance Iowa’s water quality and soil conservation efforts, protect property taxpayers and improve Iowa’s road and bridge infrastructure in the 2014 legislative session. A

    January 21, 2014

  • 011614 Danielsen Award Photo Danielsen's take renewable fuels marketing award DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced that Russ and Barb Danielsen from Southern Iowa Oil and Jason Stauffer from STAR Energy are the 2014 winners of the Secretary’s Biodiesel and Ethanol Marketing awards. The awards were

    January 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANF initiative helps ring In 'Season Of Giving' WEST DES MOINES -- The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the University of Iowa Athletic Department are bringing some much-needed assistance to the Iowa Food Bank Association with a special donation of $21,500 through the America Needs Farmers initiati

    December 30, 2013

  • 2014 Crop Fair at Honey Creek JOHNSTON -- This winter's crop fair has a program designed to help local growers deal with the volatility in modern agriculture, according to organizers with the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Corn Promotion Board. The program will be held Ja

    December 30, 2013

  • 121713 Land Values Graphic Value reaches historic $8,716 statewide average AMES -- Average Iowa farmland value is estimated to be $8,716 per acre, an increase of 5.1 percent from 2012, according to results of the Iowa Land Value Survey conducted in November. Values increased in 2013 for the fourth year in a row and achieved

    December 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • 121213 Exline Ramblers Photo 2 Make Christmas special There are no limits to caring. The Exline Ramblers wanted to rethink Christmas and make it about giving back. They wanted to carry out their theme for this year, "Happy, Happy, Happy," from "Duck Dynasty." On Saturday, Dec. 7 the Ramblers visited th

    December 12, 2013 2 Photos

Featured Ads

The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order to get a feel for the public's appetite about raising rental permit fees from charging a landlord $25 every two years to charging a certain amount per rental unit per year. So, the question of the week is, "Are you in favor of Centerville increasing rental permit fees?"

A. I'm in favor.
B. I'm not in favor.
C. I'm not sure.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook