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Terry Rouse To 4-H Hall of Fame

By Staff | Jul 28, 2011

Terry Rouse of Curlew has been named the Palo Alto County inductee to the Iowa 4-H?Hall of Fame. Julie Naig (right) introduced Naig at the Palo Alto County Fair last week. --Jane Whitmore photo

Each year all the counties in Iowa have the opportunity to recognize volunteers who have exhibited outstanding service to the county 4-H?programs and nominate them for the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.

This year’s Palo Alto County inductee is Terry Rouse of Curlew.

“The time and effort that Terry Rouse has committed to improving and supporting 4-H in Palo Alto County is truly astonishing,” said Julie Naig, Palo Alto County 4-H Youth Director.

While growing up, Rouse was a member of the Silver Lake Cruisers 4-H?Club and he showed dairy cattle. He graduated high school in 1973 and in 1974 he began his run as beef superintendent for the Palo Alto County Fair. At that time, he and his father had switched from dairy to beef cattle. He served in this position for 35 years, until his youngest daughter’s last fair in 2009. His children all have memories of going with dad to beef weigh-ins and fair clean-up days. He helped many families and 4-Hers by sharing his beef knowledge, catching a loose calf in the show ring, and making members have a positive experience at the fair.

Different things that changed over the 35 years as beef superintendent included specific 4-H tags, switching from an actual auction to a premium system, carcass contest, improved barns, the “county raised” program, the fence/gates between barns and pavilion, and wood chip in the barns. Terry spent countless hours weighing in cattle, putting together beef show programs, working with youth and their beef projects, doing barn assignments, explaining rules, getting volunteers to help with the show, keeping the beef show running smoothly, and organizing the data for the carcass contest.

“Everyone who worked with him appreciated his great organizational skills,” said Naig.

When Naig’s oldest son was old enough to be in 4-H, Terry formed a new club known as the Ayrshire Beavers 4-H?Club. This club is still going strong, since the Silver Lake Cruisers faded away sometime in the mid 1980s. Terry was a leader for 19 years.

Terry Rouse shared his love of 4-H with his wife, Pam, and their four children, Benji, Betsy, Brian and Bridget, who all were very involved 4-Hers, serving as club presidents and members of the County Council. In that time, he had at least one child (and up to three) showing cattle at the fair every year.

“4-H was a real bonding time for his family and his hard work and dedication provided wonderful life lessons for his children,” said Naig.

Terry was also a dedicated member of the Palo Alto County Fair Board from 1985 to 2008, a total of 23 years, serving as secretary for a number of those years. He was a part of many of the grounds and building improvements.

In 1997 Terry was awarded the 4-H?Alumni Award at the county awards banquet.

The 4-H?Hall of Fame ceremony takes place the last Sunday of the Iowa State Fair in the 4-H?Exhibits building. The 4-H?Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Iowa 4-H?Youth Development Program and the Iowa 4-H?Foundation. It was initiated in 2002 to help commemorate the 100th Anniversary of 4-H.