Iowa 4-H Youth Win International Harvester Awards at the 2023 Iowa State Fair

August 30, 2023, 1:42 pm | Sydney Peterson, Sara Nelson

AMES, Iowa – The International Harvester Collector’s Club Award Program recognized Iowa 4-H members for their state fair project achievements on Aug. 13 at the Iowa State Fair.

All Iowa State Fair 4-H participants with exhibits associated with the International Harvester brand family qualify for this additional award sponsored by the IH Collector’s Club. Youth participants who applied provided information about their project goals, processes, problem-solving, expenses and learning opportunities.

Joseph Von Muenster receives award.“We want to thank the Iowa International Harvester Collector’s Club Chapter 5 for sponsoring this award program. We greatly appreciate their support of this 4-H program,” said Sara Nelson, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H STEM program specialist.

This year’s winning exhibitors included Atticus Palmer of Polk County; Claire Peyton of Delaware County; Domanic McNear of Woodbury County; Jacob March of Dubuque County; James Kelchen of Dubuque County; Joe Pitts of Cherokee County; Joseph VonMuesnster of Cedar County; Karson Lehrman of Cedar County; Kaylin Heims of Jones County; Logan Dykstra of Sioux County; Noah Gaul of Dubuque County; and Paige Heims of Jones County.

Along with public recognition at the 2023 IH Awards Ceremony, these winning 4-H members also receive a one-year membership to IH Collector’s Club Chapter 5, an invitation to share their exhibit at a chapter club meeting or the Farm Progress Show and a monetary award. While exhibits in every class are eligible for IH awards, tractor restoration is a favorite of 4-H members.

“The most rewarding part of my project was spending time with my uncle and my dad during the restoration process and learning from them,” recalled Joseph VonMuenster, who finished restoring a tractor he started working on many years ago. He did the engine rebuild for his last year and wanted to continue his 4-H project.

“The most important thing I learned was patience — it’s been a four-year project in total. Prepping, cleaning and sanding takes a lot of time, but it’s an important step in the project because it is noticeable if it’s not done right,” VonMuenster said.

Kaylin Heims receives award.“The IH award-winning projects are truly amazing this year. I am always in awe of the skill and level of detail these youth projects exhibit,” Nelson said.

For many, 4-H exhibits at the Iowa State Fair and county fairs across Iowa represent the time invested by young people learning in partnership with caring adults. Volunteers, families and partners work together to provide an encouraging and supportive environment for 4-H members to learn and explore their interests.

“I restored a 1937 Farmall F-30. I believe that restoration projects like the one I did are a part of history. We keep a piece of that history alive and working by restoring all these old tractors. I believe that is such an important thing in today’s world,” noted Kaylin Heims. “It is such an inspiring thing to see a bunch of 4-H members being the ones to restore these tractors because it is our grandfathers’ generation that grew up with them. We’ve all grown up with such modern tractors that it is amazing to see 50–100-year-old tractors come to life again!”

Karson Lehrman had several International Harvester and Case International Harvester 1/64th scale farm toys and wanted to create a display for all of them. He explained that he is a seventh grader at North Cedar Community School District and lives on a four-generation family-owned farm. He used inspiration from enjoying getting a field ready to plant and planting the fields on his family’s farm to create the spring scene in his farm display.

Karson Lehrman receives award.“My most rewarding part of the experience was receiving the award for my project. I like the International Harvester brand, and my project showed off a farm scene with several International and Case International farm tractors and implements,” Lehrman recalled. “Winning this award allowed me the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful collector’s club for International Harvester.”

“This special award opportunity is a great example of our industry partners supporting our 4-H members by providing a high-quality experience for our 4-H members, as well as support and recognition for their efforts to pursue their educational goals,” Nelson said.

“I would encourage others to apply for the International Harvester Award in the future if they can apply. You get recognized for all the hard work you have accomplished, and you even receive some money for your accomplishments,” said Claire Peyton, who finished the restoration of a Farmall C tractor.

For more information on the Iowa 4-H Youth Development program or how to apply for the International Harvester Collector’s Club Award, please contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office or visit the Iowa 4-H website at

Shareable photos and captions

  • Joseph VonMuenster of Cedar County accepts his award for his tractor restoration with International Harvester Collector’s Club Chapter 5 President Bob Gihring.
  • Kaylin Heims of Jones County accepts her award for her restored 1937 Farmall F-30 with International Harvester Collector’s Club Chapter 5 President Bob Gihring.
  • Karson Lehrman of Cedar County accepts his award for his farm toy display with International Harvester Collector’s Club Chapter 5 President Bob Gihring.
  • Claire Peyton of Delaware County with International Harvester Collector’s Club Chapter 5 President Bob Gihring and her award-winning Farmall C tractor restoration project.
  • Iowa 4-H members received awards from the International Harvester Collector’s Club at the 2023 Iowa State Fair.
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