An Emmetsburg woman will join several other Palo Alto County residents in the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame after her she was nominated and recognized Thursday evening at the 2014 Palo Alto County Fair. This year's Palo Alto County inductee is Roberta Hersom.
Each year, all 99 counties in Iowa have the opportunity to recognize volunteers who have exhibited outstanding service in their county-to-county 4-H programs and youth by nominating them for induction into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.The time and commitment that Roberta Hersom of Emmetsburg has given to supporting and improving 4-H in Palo Alto County has been truly astonishing. She has been a 4-H organizational leader for the Junior Clippers 4-H Club for the past 15 years. Through those years, she has taught members many valuable life skills through their involvement in hands-on activities. Her enthusiasm for 4-H has drawn many young members to join her club and she is to be commended for her organizational skills, keeping her club members up-to-date on the club and county 4-H happenings and organizing fun and educational meetings. Roberta has also spent countless hours serving as a judge of exhibits at various county fairs, and is always willing to share her knowledge and expertise with other 4-Hers and parents.
Roberta Hersom grew up in Eastern Illinois on a farm with her parents and one sister. She joined 4-H while in the fourth grade. She enjoyed taking baking, sewing and photography projects to her county fair. When her family moved to Moline, IL, she graduated from East Moline High School in 1972. Roberta then attended college at Western Illinois University, where she graduated with a Masters' Degree in Speech Pathology. She then traveled to Emmetsburg to work as a Speech and Language Pathologist at the Area Educational Agency in Cylinder, and later became Zone Coordinator for the Prairie Lakes AEA 8 from 2003 through 2010. In 1977, she met Ronald Hersom of Curlew and the couple married in 1980. They are parents of two daughters, Laura and Beth, who were both very active in the Palo Alto County 4-H program.
HALL?OF?FAMER - Roberta Hersom, left, was honored Thursday night by County 4-H Youth Director Julie Naig as Hersom’s nomination to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was announced. The announcement came during the opening night of the Palo Alto County Fair. -- Dan Voigt photo
After serving 33 years in Speech and Language Pathology, Roberta left Prairie Lakes AEA and has spent the last four years as the Regional Education Program Coordinator for Buena Vista University. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, gardening and spending quality time with her family and friends.
In 2007, Roberta was awarded the 4-H Alumni Award at the annual county awards banquet to recognize her contributions to 4-H, and now, Palo Alto County is both proud and honored to have Robert as the 2014 inductee to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame. Roberta will join past Palo Alto County inductees: Julie Nelson, Angie Beem, Ray Brown, Merrylea Clasing, Helen Anliker, Tim Naig, Dan Voigt, Ann Stillman, Terry Rouse, Bert and Julie Naig, Devona Perkins and Karen Schwartzkopf.
The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies take place on the last Sunday of the Iowa State Fair at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the State Fairgrounds. The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program and the Iowa 4-H Foundation and was established in 2002 to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of 4-H.