4-H Clubs in Griggs County

With the passing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 the Cooperative Extension Service came into existence with 4-H as an integral part.  Since its beginning, 4-H has provided a developmental program for youth which utilizes a variety of programs and areas of interest (known as projects) to reach and teach all youth 9-19 years of age regardless of race, color, national origin, residence or membership in any other organization.

Griggs County established its first 4-H Club in the Karnak community April 14, 1934.  Gilbert I. Moun, first Griggs County Agent, in Cooperation with Miss Sylvia Kerber and Mrs. Alma Brown as leaders founded the Peppy Peppers Clothing Club.  From this small beginning of eight members the county 4-H program steadily grew to a high of 26 clubs with over 300 members in the late 1950's.  With the declining rural population throughout the 1960's and 1970's the 4-H program has become smaller but not less active.  In 1981 the 4-H program includes eight clubs with 117 members.

In the early years of 4-H the main emphasis areas were livestock and home economics.  At the present, livestock and home economics play a large role, but the program has expanded to include over 250 projects.  Today a 4-H member can find a project in almost any field of study.

October is the beginning of the 4-H year.  At this time 4-H members are re-enrolled or recruited and officers are elected from the club members and serve a term of one year.  The club will plan to meet 6nee a month at either an established meeting room or at the members' homes.  4-H is intended to include the whole family and parents are encouraged to attend any or all the club meetings.  The meetings usually include a business meeting, an educational program and time to help members with their projects.

Numerous county and state events are conducted during the year: camps, trips, judging contests, speech and demonstration contests and many others, held on a county and state level.  Achievement Days are a summary of each 4-H member's club work throughout the year.  The first Achievement Days were held by each club, but as the 4-H program grew a county achievement day was established and for the most part has been held in conjunction with the county fair.  At the Achievement Days 4-H members bring their completed projects to be judged and are awarded a grand, reserve, blue, red, or white ribbon.  Any county member receiving a blue ribbon or higher is eligible to attend the North Dakota State Fair Achievement Days, which were first held in Fargo and now are held in Minot.  Griggs County has been well represented at the state achievement days and has received numerous blue ribbons, reserve and grand champion awards.

4-H Achievement Days have concluded with the 4-H Premium Sale, which involves the auctioning of a project for a monetary premium.  The member is not required to give up the project in order to receive a premium.  The money is divided by the 4-H member and the 4-H Council, and is one of the main sources of income for the 4-H Council.  County merchants, farmers, and auctioneers have generously supported this sale over the years.  Without their support 4-H would not be able to keep viable.

Griggs County 4-H members have had uncountable personal triumphs and also some impressive county achievements.  Members have been awarded national trips, judging teams have gone to national contests, and individuals have received state and national recognition.  The county program has seen thousands of young people come and go, but it has been the 4-H leader who has stayed.  4-H leaders can be credited with much of the success of the county program.

Three present leaders of the Jolly Haymakers Club have served a total of 70 years:

Oscar Huso, Jr., has led the club 26 years
Thoris Huso has led the club 25 years
Mrs. Oscar Huso has led the club 19 years

Harley Fogderud and Ingvard Haugen each served 20 years with the Peppy Peppers.

There have been several leaders over the years and each has contributed towards the betterment of Griggs County youth.  Without the dedication and support of the voluntary leaders, 4-H would be no more.  The following is a list of county 4-H leaders who have served ten or more years as either a leader or assistant leader:

Mrs. Arnold Adrian,
Jessie Lakers
17 years
Mrs. James Michaelson,
Dover Livestock
17 years
Dr. Delbert Clark,
present leader in
Sheyenne Valley
15 years
Dolar LaPlant,
Kingsley Climbers
15 years
Mrs. Gerald Nierenberg,
Cooper Troopers
15 years
Arnold Adrian,
Jessie Lakers
13 years
Art Skramstad,
Romness
13 years
Mrs. Kathy Larson,
present leader in
Cooperstown Honeybees
12 years
Gordon Michaelson,
Dover Livestock
12 years
Harold Michaelis,
Prairie Bells and Beaus
11 years
Mrs. Melvin Stokka,
Shy Anns
11 years
Mrs. Bernard Zimprich,
Lovell Lads and Lassies and
Jessie Lakers
11 years
Mrs. Richard Bailey,
Sutton Go-Getters
10 years
Mrs. Chester Bjornson,
Lucky Cloverleafs and
Red Willow Laker Girls
10 years
Mrs. Alma Brown,
Peppy Peppers Clothing and
Happy Lassies
10 years
Norman Dahl,
Red Willow Laker Boys
10 years
Mrs. Beatrice Fogderud,
Flying Needles
10 years
Mrs. Palmer Fors,
Helena Huskers
10 years
Mrs. Wallace Myers,
Kingsley Climbers
10 years
Mrs. Vernon Peterson,
Prairie Bells and Beaus
10 years
Arnold Sletten,
Grand Valley and Ottawa
10 years
Mrs. Ralph Tweed,
Sheyenne Valley Girls
10 years

The county agents, and the years they served:

Gilbert I.  Moun August 1933-July 1939
George B. Simons July 1939-Mary 1953
Irvin D. Morrison June 1953-October 1955
Victor W. Legler November 1955-March 1958
Paul Owen April 1958-November 1959
Billy B. Rice December 1959-September 1964
Donald Aelston October 1964-December 1964
Robert Harris December 1964-April 1969
Pat Carpentier May 1969-July 1976
Carlton Wendel July 1976-April 1980
John D. Swenson June 1980-Present

 

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 234

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