Shirley Pfeifer of Washington has been selected as the 2019 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame recipient for Washington County. She will receive this honor at the Washington County Fair Thursday, July 18, at 6 p.m. at the Lions Club Stage and then later be recognized at the Iowa State Fair.
When Shirley Pfeifer, 90, joined Emmet County 4-H as a high-schooler, she had no inkling she was beginning a lifelong relationship. Now, some 75 years later, the longtime Washington County resident continues to serve as the 4-H Garden Project leader.
From the beginning, Pfeifer’s interests and skills have been a natural fit with 4-H principles. Her involvement began with sewing and clothing, home improvement, and foods and nutrition. After college Pfeifer became an elementary art teacher in the Washington School District, a career she continued in the Columbus Community School District after raising her children. Early in their marriage, she and her husband, Fred, moved to a farm in Washington County and she was asked to colead a neighborhood girls’ club. Their leadership lasted until all the girls had graduated.
Eventually, Washington County needed a garden project leader and Pfeifer agreed to serve in that role. It’s not anything she’s kept close track of, but she’s likely one of the longest-serving superintendents in the state at around four decades.
“It can be a rare occurrence to have volunteers who give of themselves for the number of years that Shirley has,” said Washington County 4-H/Youth Coordinator Amy Green. “We invite the community to show their appreciation and honor Shirley at the Hall of Fame presentation.”