Jean Schmidt was a 9 year 4-H member in Benton County where she showed hogs, cattle and exhibited in Food & Nutrition, Home Improvement and Clothing. She was elected onto the 8 member Benton County Council. She participated at the Iowa State Fair showing cattle and received an Excellence for her demonstration on Bakers dough.
Jean became involved in 4-H again when their 3 sons joined 4-H. Tim was not a 4-H member but, he jumped right in, learning about 4-H and supporting the family.
Jean was a club leader for the Scott Sodbusters 4-H club for 6 years and an 8 year member of the Henry County 4-H Committee where she became the Chairman of the Sheep Committee. Jean was instrumental in changing the county 4-H policies to line up with the Iowa State 4-H policies so the county 4-H program ran more smoothly. She conducted educational clinics to teach youth how to feed, fit and show their lamb properly to attain their 4-H goals. In addition, Jean was a true believer and promoter of the Bottle Lamb pilot project and assisted several 4-Hers in starting their own flocks from that project.
When Tim & Jean's boys started exhibiting at the Iowa State Fair, they were the only family representing Henry County in the sheep barn. Through their encouragement and help several other families started exhibiting sheep at the Iowa State Fair. Tim and Jean believe 4-H'ers should have the experience of exhibiting at the Iowa State Fair.
In 2001, Tim and Jean moved back to Benton County. Jean became the leader of the Leroy Luckies 4-H Club (her old 4-H club) for 4 years and was asked to be on the Benton County 4-H Committee where she was Sheep Superintendent. Jean has attended numerous 4-H retreats so she could learn more about projects and 4-H to help make the 4-H program better in her club and her county including attending the DNA and eye scanning trainings so she knew what the process was and could answer questions for 4-H'ers and families.
For the past seven years, Jean and Tim have been very involved at every sheep/meat goat weigh-in/check-in/show, as well as other livestock weigh-ins and county events, working as a great team, answering questions, assisting the new exhibitors/families and reminiscing about 4-H memories with the seasoned 4-H'ers and their families.
To improve communication at county fair, Jean began having exhibitor meetings following the sheep/meat goat check-in to honor graduating seniors, answer exhibitor questions, reviewed the rules and show schedule. That idea spread to other livestock areas, which has made a positive difference in communication with members, parents and volunteers.
Tim and Jean were instrumental is starting the Ag Olympics program at the Benton County Fair. Teams of 4 youth participate in 6 different activities and have a great time! The crowd enjoys watching, and the supporters/donors, making sure every participant gets a prize.
Jean is still very active in Benton County 4-H where she a member of the Benton County 4-H Foundation Board, the 4-H Focus Committee and recently attended the judges' training to become a county fair judge in Food & Nutrition, Woodworking and Home Improvement.
Tim & Jean are avid 4-H supporters. Both of them will tell you what a wonderful experience they have had with 4-H for the past 20 years and tell you "We're not done yet!"