Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick


He’s in the 4-H Hall of Fame

4-H in Van Buren County dates back as early as 1907, and first appeared in Iowa in 1902. The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was initiated in 2002 to commemorate the centennial anniversary.

When Ron Fransen recently entered the 4-H Hall of Fame, he joined several from Van Buren County, including Kathy Noll, Michelle Wenke, Sheri Moore, AnnaBelle Keller and Ernie Topping.

After 39 years of teaching Vocational Agriculture, including 7 years at Fox Valley, Fransen is retired and lives in Keosauqua, but continues to promote International Agriculture Studies. In 1963, he provided leadership and took 31 FFA students and chaperones on a 30-day trip to ten European countries, including a visit to 8 countries that were located behind the Iron Curtain.

The leaders selected for the Hall of Fame have shown dedication and have contributed to the lives of 4-H members and programs. Ron Fransen has served 7 years on the Van Buren County Extension Council and 3 years as Southeast Iowa Representative on the Citizens Extension Council.

As the Van Buren County Quiz Bowl Coach for the past 7 years, Ron guided the competitors to great finishes in state competition. The first year they competed, in 2001 the team finished 3rd. In 2003, they finished 2nd. They grabbed 1st place in all other years: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Ron has been 4-H Livestock Judging Team coach for 8 years and for 11 years has served as agriculture and natural resources judge and ultrasound contest superintendent at the county fair. During that time he has assisted in sheep, beef and swine weigh-ins.

Ron is on the county and area board of SENECA Area Agency on Aging, and is active in the State Education Association. He once served as President of the Iowa Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for 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 Chuck Morris, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development director. Ron Fransen has certainly given the organization outstanding service. When Ron was introduced on stage, each of the new inductees was given a plaque by the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick