50 years and counting Local 4-H leader reflects on a lifetime of service

Over half a century later, she’s still deeply involved with the local 4-H group as a leader and dairy superintendent at the Butler County Fair. (Photo by Robert Maharry—Eclipse News-Review)

Throughout her long and successful life, two things have remained constant for Carolyn Johnson: she’s called Parkersburg home, and she’s been involved in 4-H. The rest has sorted itself out.

A member of the agriculturally focused club since the age of 13, Johnson—a 2009 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame inductee—has now served as a leader for over 50 years and will be honored this year for her lifelong commitment.

It all started back in 1963, when Johnson, who now operates a dairy farm with her husband Duane just south of Parkersburg, first discovered the Albion Dandy Dozen, an organization that would come to define her as a person. At that time, however, opportunities for women were limited, and Johnson only had a few project themes to choose from.

“Then, it opened up, and we could take any project during the year,” she said. “There are so many other things now, with leadership, citizenship, photography, visual arts and those kinds of things.”

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