Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2014

Emde to be inducted into Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame

Jul 14, 2014

Robert Emde of Washington County will be inducted into the 2014 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 17. Eighty-two Iowa counties are participating this year and 110 inductees will be recognized 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.

Mr. Emde will be recognized at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow the presentations.

Robert Emde never met a stranger. He loved talking to people and loved getting them to his county fair.

As a Washington County 4-H and FFA member, Robert exhibited cattle both at the county and state level. His friends explained he had an eye for good black cattle and there were many fond memories showing together. He knew the cattle business well and kept busy in that department even after graduating from 4-H. As a Washington County Fair Board member, he helped in the show ring at all the beef shows, set up the barns, and even slept in the barns overnight during his 33 years on the board.

He and his wife traveled to over 60 of Iowa’s county fairgrounds because he loved to see what other county fairs were doing and what he could bring back to Washington County. He always enjoyed attending the annual Fair Board meeting held in December each year.

After 33 years of service to the Washington County Fair Board, some health issues forced him to step down. His wife remembered how it broke his heart. It was the hardest thing for him to give up. He enjoyed everything about young people and fairs.

He was honored to receive a plaque from the Washington County Fair Board when he retired. It is proudly displayed in his home.

His wife, Susan, was sure Robert had been to every Washington County Fair for almost 70 years until heat and health kept him away. It’s a place where he was proud to be a 4-H & FFA member and then fair board member for 33 years.

Counties select inductees for their exceptional work in contributing to the lives of 4-H members and the overall 4-H program, said Amy Green, Washington County Youth Coordinator. 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 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 are committed to Iowa’s youth and the 4-H Youth Development program,” said Chris Gleason, a 4-H youth specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Information about previous inductees to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame also is available on the Iowa 4-H Foundation Web site, organized by year and by county.

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