Extension and Ag Research News


N.D. 4-H Foundation Recognizes Families, Individuals

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation honored two Hall of Fame inductees and three century families.

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation recognized two 4-H Hall of Fame inductees and three century families during its recent Awards and Donor Recognition Luncheon.

The late Erwin Klusmann, New Salem, N.D., and Wayne Hankel, Fargo, were the Hall of Fame inductees. Three 4-H century families for 2019 were:

  • Jerome and Kristi Freeberg of Ransom County, with 129 years of 4-H participation
  • Wayne and Elaine Hankel of Ransom and Ward counties, with 142 years of 4-H participation
  • Lester and Cheryll Ellingson of Benson, Morton and Ramsey counties, with 150 years of 4-H participation

Any family whose years as 4-H members, leaders and/or volunteers add up to 100 or more is eligible to be named a North Dakota 4-H century family.

Klusmann grew up in the New Salem area on a registered Holstein dairy farm. As a member of the New Salem Boys and Girls 4-H Club, he was active in many fairs and shows. He also was a member of the 1926 Morton County dairy judging team, which won the state dairy judging contest and advanced to the national contest in Detroit, Mich. He was the high individual judge in this contest.

Klusmann and his cousin, Clarence Klusmann, were selected in 1928 to ride the Dairy and Poultry Train through eastern and northern North Dakota, giving demonstrations on the qualities of a good dairy cow. This excursion lasted for three weeks. They presented the demonstration at the Grand Forks State Fair and placed first in state competition.

Erwin Klusmann was a 4-H member for 11 years and received a number of recognitions as a 4-H youth, including outstanding member in the state. He also served as a 4-H leader for 50 years and coached the Morton County dairy judging teams for 30-plus years. The team placed in state competition numerous times and brought home several top awards, including first in 1983, 1985 and 1986.

During the time Klusmann was a 4-H leader, one club member advanced to a national 4-H event in Washington, D.C., one club member attended the National Club Congress and three club members were on the Morton County dairy judging teams who competed in Waterloo, Iowa. Two members won first place overall in the breeds category at the State Dairy Show.

Klusmann also judged at numerous 4-H achievement day shows in North and South Dakota.

Hankel grew up on a farm in Dickey County, N.D., and was involved in 4-H as a youth, with his parents as leaders. He also was involved in 4-H in college while at the North Dakota Agricultural College (now NDSU). He married his wife, Elaine, through his connections with collegiate 4-H.

His career included serving as an Extension agent in North Dakota’s Barnes, Sheridan, LaMoure, Dickey, Ransom and Sargent counties. He was the 4-H agent in the last four counties and worked in the state 4-H office.

Hankel authored more than a dozen 4-H publications and provided leadership in creating the North Dakota 4-H Cloverbud, Learn About and Pathways curriculums. He also was a 4-H leader and has supported his children and grandchildren as 4-H’ers.

Following retirement in 1993, Hankel assisted with multiple 4-H activities, including teaching classes for 4-H and others in woodcarving, and serving as a judge in speech and demonstration contests, and at county fairs and nearly every North Dakota State Fair.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Nov. 19, 2019

Source:Penny Dale, 701-231-8569, penny.dale@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, 701-231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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