Story County’s MaryAnn Gardner of Nevada will be inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in the 4-H Exhibit Building.


MaryAnn’s dedication to the 4-H program goes back to when her father, James Kearns, was the county Extension director years ago in Adair and Union counties. MaryAnn and her sister, Betty Kearns, were very active 4-H members.


She carried many projects in her local club and served on the County Council in 1957-1958. Her interest continued, as she was a 4-H leader for several years, and in 1967, she received recognition for a 10-year award. This interest has continued through five generations, her children, grandchildren and now a great-grandchild, who is a Clover Kid.


Her longtime commitment to the photography and visual arts project areas has been significant to 4-H’ers in Story and throughout the state of Iowa. She has demonstrated dedication, creativity, encouragement and guidance as a way to teach your people life skills. MaryAnn has led many workshops to reach 4-H’ers, sharing her knowledge as a judge on the county and state levels for many years. Her commitment to youth shows in a positive attitude and support that translates to action to reach young people and their families.


A former 4-H’er in her 4-H club said, “MaryAnn was a strong leader, she taught us leadership and project skills, and knew how to teach and have fun.”


MaryAnn takes an active role in Extension Education and Outreach serving as a current member of the Story County Extension Council. Because she has kept us up-to-date with the trends in new educational programs and the needs of local staff, she is a positive contributing leader in the Story County community. In addition to 15 years on the Extension Council, she also served four years on the Story County 4-H Foundation board.


Another way that she continues to educate and contributes to the 4-H program is through her active participation on the Story County 4-H History Committee. Not only are her marketing ideas valued, but her visual art skills help to improve the material the committee uses to reach the public.


She is actively involved in community activities; she is a member of St. Patrick’s Church in Nevada and serves her church in many ways. She has served as a Hospice volunteer and has received recognition for more than 4,500 volunteer hours.


Story County is extremely proud to recognize MaryAnn into the Iowa State 4-H Hall of Fame.