2014 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame Honoree - John Harms
John Harms is well aware of the important role that a county fair can have in developing and operating a successful county 4-H program. John’s personal experiences as a Jones County 4-H’er and a member of the county youth committee kindled his goal and desire to help grow the opportunity to provide special “fair experiences” for other 4-H youth.
During the past 20 years as General Manager of the Great Jones County Fair, he has had a role in supporting an ongoing list of capital improvements to the youth campus on the fair park. These improvements have included general livestock facility upgrades for every species. Improvements include buildings and structure updates and developing plans for growth. John was very instrumental in overseeing the addition and operation of the Jones County Youth Development Center, a 1.4M dollar year-round home for the county 4-H and youth. Completion of the center has allowed the 4-H food stand, exhibit display booths, state fair entries, special emphasis displays, and meeting spaces as well as the county extension and fair management offices to all be showcased under one single roof.
John’s efforts helped to heighten the awareness of the importance of our youth and encouraged the community to unite during the major capital campaign that allowed the doors to open without a debt! John truly believes that the youth component needs to be front and center in our thoughts as we plan for the future of our fair business.
John’s dedication to the 4-H program has stretched beyond the boundaries of Jones County. He served as a director to the Association of Iowa Fairs for 13 years and was association president in 2003. He was elected to the Iowa State Fair governing board in 2009 and is currently serving as board treasurer.
John’s key to success has been the belief there is no limit to what can be accomplished when you are surrounded by great people with similar goals!
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