Seven Poweshiek County 4-H’ers participated in the Best of Best Competition on July 31 in Marengo. Pictured from left are: Breeding Heifer - Rylie Smith; Market Lamb – Kaylia Fuchs; Market Beef - Will Conover; Ashlyn Huff; Breeding Gilt; Market Hog - Megan Mauss; Breeding Gilt - Will Slagle; and Market Meat Goat - Dayton Mortvedt.
Two Poweshiek County 4-H’ers finished top in their individual classes at the 2021 Best of Best Competition on Saturday, July 31 at the Iowa County Fairgrounds in Marengo.
The competition brought together the grand champions in swine, meat goats, sheep and beef from a 13-county area, including Poweshiek County, where the competitors face off for top honors and bragging rights, including showmanship, in each class.
Dayton Mortvedt, 11, a second-year member of the Sugar Creek 4-H Club, is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Dayton returned to the Best of Best from a year ago, having won twice in 2020 with his breeding ewe, Beatrice, and market lamb, Napoleaon.
Dayton switched gears this year, earning Grand Champion honors with this Market Meat Goat, Emiliano, which is named after Emiliano Zapata, a Mexican Revolutionary leader.
He received $800 for his winning goat and a belt buckle. Emiliano also earned Grand Champion honors at the Poweshiek County 4-H and FFA Fair.
When asked, Dayton said the key to his success is working hard.
“I like to work hard and push through when it is hard and challenging,” he said.
Dayton is also a history buff and said he enjoys studying modern history, which is where he gets the names for his animals.
When asked what he was going to do with his winnings, Dayton said save it so he can buy some show animals. He currently takes care of five goats and 10 sheep.
Dayton is the son of Ryan and Carrie Mortvedt. He has one younger brother, Brock, who is a Clover Kid.
Kaylia Fuchs, 10, a member of Poweshiek Pioneers 4-H Club, earned Grand Champion Market Lamb honors at this year’s Best of Best Competition.
Kaylia, the daughter of Jeff and Jennifer Fuchs of rural Brooklyn, comes from a long-line of market lamb showers. Her mother is a Dale, who, along with the Kuesel family, are known for producing winning sheep throughout the area.
Kaylia’s market lamb, Voss Baby, also earned Grand Champion Breeding Ewe honors at the Poweshiek County 4-H and FFA Fair.
When asked, Kaylia said the key to her success is hard work and having fun in the showring.
“It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of fun,” she said of showing sheep. “I like to be out in the showring with them.”
Kaylia’s winning lamb earned her $800 and a nice belt buckle for her efforts.
Poweshiek County Best of Best
Other Poweshiek County Best of Best competitors joining Kaylia and Dayton included: Breeding Heifer - Rylie Smith; Breeding Doe - Ashlyn Huff; Breeding Gilt - Will Slagle; Market Hog - Megan Mauss; and Market Beef - Will Conover.
Dayton Mortvedt, a second-year member of the Sugar Creek 4-H Club, brought home Grand Champion honors from the Best of Best Competition on July 31 with his market meat goat, Emiliano, earning him $800 and a nice belt buckle. Dayton earned Grand Champion Market Meat Goat honors at the 2021 Poweshiek County 4-H/FFA Fair.
Kaylia Fuchs, a member of the Poweshiek Producers 4-H Club, earned Grand Champion honors at the Best of Best Competition on July 31 with her lamb, Voss Baby, earning $800 and a nice belt buckle. Kaylia earned Grand Champion Market Lamb honors at the Poweshiek County 4-H/FFA Fair. She is shown at the fair with her winning goat and is joined by Hallie Kuesel and Daleya Fuchs.
The 2021 Grinnell Homecoming Court is, pictured top to bottom, left to right are: Alex Smith, Sydney Miller, Josh Osborne, Meredith McKnight, Jacob Gosselink, Makenna Smith, Calvin Jaworski, Sophia Tyler, Jaimen Voogd and Kae Widener.
Camaraderie, fun highlight the 143rd Iowa Firefighters Convention and Contest held in Grinnell, Sept. 9 - 12
Grinnell put out a fire call and firefighters and their families numbering 1,600 plus from 200 fire departments from across the state arrived in town, Sept. 9 – 12, for the 143rd annual Iowa Firefighters Convention and Contests.
The Grinnell Volunteer Fire Association built a campground with 1,500 camping spaces at the intersection of 380th Avenue and 20th Street (just west of the Grinnell High School ball fields) to house attendees.
Firefighters started arriving as early Sept. 3 with many attending the Grinnell Fireman’s Dance held at the Grinnell Mutual Event Tent in the convention campgrounds on Sunday, Sept. 5. Deep River’s Tyler Richton and the High Bank Boys provided the tunes. Hairball, Route 66 and Sushi Roll, which included a laser show dedicated to the 20th anniversary of 9-11, provided music throughout the four-day event. Local eateries also provided food to the convention attendees.
Firefighters participated in fire drills, water fights, bowling, golf, a craft show and a parade of fire trucks on Saturday evening and much more.
Grinnell last hosted the event in 2014.
The annual event, which is held at various cities across the state the weekend following Labor Day, offered firefighters and their families and opportunity to have fun while catching up with friends and making new friends along the way.
Mark Boeke, a 37-year veteran of the Hubbard Fire Department and long-time funeral director with Boeke Funeral Home, said for years he told the other men on the department to enjoy the convention and he would hold down the fort back home.
“After I was on the fire department for 33-years, I went to my first fire convention (and had a blast),” he said. “The guys were having all the fun and I was staying home.”
That has since changed and Boeke said he’s been attending the convention that last few years.
“I think the camaraderie at the campground is the most fun,” he said.
Heather Sinnwell said she and her husband, Josh, who volunteers with the Nashua Fire Department, take the water fight competitions seriously. In fact, the two travel around the state during the summer months participating in water fight competitions.
“I took second place at the women’s water fights,” she said. “Josh finished third in the main water fight competition on Saturday.”
She and Josh have been attending the fire conventions since 2007. Sinnwell said meeting new people from fire departments across the state is one of her favorite things to do at the convention.
“A lot of time this is when we get to see our friends from across the state,” Sinnwell said. “Firefighters are a big brotherhood and we are like a big family. We knew each other and are there for each other.”
B.J. Poe, formerly of Montezuma and now with the Jefferson Monroe Fire Department in Solon, said he enjoys hanging out with friends and meeting and talking with new people.
Reann Cappel, a three-year veteran firefighter with the Atlantic Fire Department, comes from a long-line of family members who have served the local fire department. Her father is the chief and her younger brother just joined the department. She also has uncles on the Atlantic Fire Department.
Cappel said she likes that all the departments can get together and have a good time.
“It’s not very often that firefighters have time for camaraderie,” she said. “I like the competitions between the departments.”
Brady McClenathan with the Malcom Fire Department, who was attending his second fire convention, said he enjoys the socialization with the other firefighters.
Adam Kane, an 11-year veteran firefighter with the Urbana and Polk Township Fire Department, who participated in the water fights, said being around all of his brothers and having a great time with everyone is the highlight of attending the convention.
This is Kane’s sixth convention he has attended.
Cindy Pollock of Grinnell, whose husband, Jason (safety officer and president), and son, Todd (captain), both serve on the Grinnell Fire Department, said following the convention, “So sad to see all the hard work of the convention coming down.”
“It took everyone putting it together and everyone taking it down,” Pollock said of Grinnell hosting the convention. “My grandson (who helped take down fence) thinks this is fun.”
She said it was an amazing time and that she loved the new friends she and Jason met at the convention.
“Hopefully we connect again in Iowa Falls (host convention site in 2022),” Pollock added. “To the special drink koozie I was gifted. To all the love and support you showed Mighty Mason and the future Mason's Light House. Thanks for supporting the Grinnell Fire Convention! See ya next year.”
Fire Department Parade results:
Oldest (judges choice): Lynnville
Best Pumper: Brooklyn
Best motor vehicle pre-1920: Cherokee
Best motor vehicle years 1920-1930: Hubbard
Best motor vehicle years 1931-1940: Garrison
Best motor vehicle years 1941-1950: Radcliffe
Best motor vehicle years 1951-1960: Tama
Best motor vehicle years 2001-2020: Dunkerton
Newest motor vehicle(2021): Milo
Furthest traveled (as the crow flies): LeMars
Most patriotic: Maquoketa
Thea Larsson, a member of the Mighty Golden Clovers and the Junior Master Gardeners 4-H Clubs, was one of a number of Poweshiek County 4-H’ers who earned ribbons and honors at the 2021 Iowa State Fair. Thea is shown holding one of her prize-winning tomatoes and trophy at the fair. Thea earned 70 plus ribbons and honors in several categories including horticulture, communications, creative arts and family and consumer sciences.
Finn Mullen, 12, of Guernsey, a huge Yankees fan, holds one of two game balls he got at the Field of Dreams game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Socks on Aug. 12 in Dyersville. Thanks to a woman connected with the his sister’s softball team at BGM and her husband, Finn was able to get tickets to the game through the MLB lottery. “It was fun,” he said.
By J.O. Parker
Finn Mullen is a huge New York Yankees baseball fan.
The 12-year-old from Guernsey loves sports, especially baseball, football and basketball.
His mother, Elizabeth, said her son, who is quite a sports history buff, has endless knowledge of major league baseball (MLB), past and present, as well as pro football (NFL) and basketball (NBA).
Earlier this summer, Finn and his family got a chance to see the Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Stadium in Florida while on vacation. It was Finn’s first major league baseball game.
And to top that, the BGM sixth-grader got to see the Yankees play the Chicago White Socks on Aug. 12 at the iconic Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville. It was an inexperience that he will never forget.
“It was fun,” Finn said.
While at the game, Finn got to walk in and out of the corn, have his photo take with cardboard cutouts of Yankees players and get his Yankees hat signed. He also met and had his photo taken with famous You Tuber, Zach Hample, considered a baseball superfan, who was at the game.
Finn got to see Kevin Costner, the star of the 1989 Field of Dreams movie filmed in Dyersville, throw out the first pitch in new 8,000 seat stadium built for the first MLB game played on Iowa soil.
He also took home two game balls.
“A fan caught a game ball that went into the stands and he gave it to me,” Finn said. “The other one was a practice ball that Yankees pitcher Jamison Taillon tossed to me and then gave me a thumbs up.”
Finn said when he heard that the Yankees were coming to the Field of Dreams, he didn’t know how it would be possible to go.
Call it fate or just luck. Dreams do come true and thanks to a woman connected with the his sister’s softball team at BGM and her husband, Finn was able to get tickets to the game.
“They were not fans of either team and they offered Finn a chance to buy the tickets through an MLB lottery,” said his mother, who also attended the game.
Finn said he and his mom sat between home plate and third base at the stadium.
“He was beyond excited to be able to go to the Field of Dreams game,” his mom said. “He is pretty passionate about baseball.”
When asked how he got interested in baseball and sports, Finn said a few years ago he watched a baseball game on television and liked it.
“I basically just watched a game one day and started watching it more and more,” he said.
He also started collecting sports cards and currently has three large binders filled with baseball, football and basketball cards.
At BGM, Finn plays tackle football, baseball and basketball for the Bears. This summer, Finn’s 11U travel ball team got fourth in the state out of 22 teams. He played second baseman and pitcher on the team.
When asked if he plans to attend next year’s major league baseball game in Dyersville between the Cubs and Reds, Finn wasn’t sure.
However, he did say it would be awesome to see the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in New York City.
“It would be cool to go see them play,” he said.
Bill Dayton, center, with Dayton Meat Products in Malcom is joined by his sons, Josh, right, and Jake, left, after the father and son team and local business received the Grinnell Lions Ag Appreciation Day Agri-Business of the Year Award on Thursday, Aug. 26. “This is bigger than anything else I have won,” said Bill Dayton. “Thank you for the recognition. It is a great honor.”
Dayton Meat Products of Malcom has provided a valued service to Poweshiek County and beyond for more than three generations.
“As we celebrate agri-business, their work improves the quality of life for both rural areas and community living,” noted a Grinnell Lions Club representative. “Dayton Meat Products is a great example of how caring and competent businesses support successful farming.”
What we know as Dayton Meat Products today began more than 60 years ago, established by Lawrence Dayton. Through the years, Lawrence's wife, Edith, and all five of their children worked at the locker, cutting and wrapping meat and waiting on customers. Ownership of the business has included partnerships with three generations of the Daytons. Currently, Dayton Meat Products is owned in partnership by Bill Dayton and his sons, Josh and Jake Dayton.
Dayton Meat Products has a large service area, providing slaughter and processing of locally raised beef and pork as well as wild game. In addition, they produce at least 75 different smoked meats and sausages. In 2020, they processed 150,000 pounds of smoked meats, including hams, bacons, sausage sticks, jerkies along with venison and wild game. Custom slaughtering of animals remains a large part of their business, with bookings into 2023.
The business has won numerous awards. The business won Grand Champion Ring Bologna in 1979. Since then, Dayton Meat Products has won more than 200 awards, many of which adorn the business’ walls, for meat products in many venues including the Iowa Meat Processors convention, the Iowa State Fair, and in international competition. In 2012, Bill Dayton was honored for Lifetime Achievement by the Iowa Meat Processors Association, and in 2015, he was induced into the American Association of Meat Processors Cured Meat Hall of Fame.
“This is bigger than anything else I have won,” said Bill Dayton. “Thank you for the recognition. It is a great honor.”
Please congratulate them on their continued service to farmers and communities in Poweshiek County and beyond.
Larry VanErsvelde of Grinnell stands next to the banner naming the annual Ag Appreciation Day Tractor Parade in his honor. The presentation was made on Aug. 26 at the Grinnell Ag Appreciation Day in Central Park
Grinnell Lions Club honors Van Arkel family of Malcom with the 2021 Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award
The Dave and Tracee Van Arkel family was honored with the 2021 Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award at Grinnell Ag Days on Aug. 26. Pictured in this family photo is from left, front row: Zach and his wife, Grace, holding their son, Henry, Katee holding her daughter, Lynlee, Tracee and Dave. Back row: Katee’s sons, Ross and Vance.
Dave and Tracee Van Arkel have been chosen for the 2021 Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award because of the family's notable contribution to good farming practices, resource management, conservation, and community involvement.
The Van Arkel farming operation started in 1952 when Dave's parents, James and Doris Van Arkel, purchased the home farm three miles west of Malcom. Dave and Tracee's son, Zach, joined the family operation in 2015, making him the third generation to farm the 1,800 acre family-owned farm. Over time, they have raised cows, hogs, and sheep. Most of their acres are no-till with increasing emphasis on cover crops. They also have CPR acres as part of their operation. They continue to do their own tiling and conservation work.
“While we are very honored to receive this award, it is also really a tribute to my mom and dad and our extended family,” said Dave. “My mom passed away in 2010 and my dad in 2018. So our family has just gone through a generational transition which can often be divisive. But thanks to the understanding and sacrifices of my brother, sister, sister-in-law, and two nieces, we were able to keep my mom and dad's dream of an ongoing family farm unit alive.”
Dave and Tracee's family consists of son, Zach and his wife, Grace, and son, Henry. Grace works as an agronomist for Bayer Crop Science. They have a daughter, Katee, who lives in Ashland, Mo., with her children, Ross, Vance, and Lynlee. Tracee has recently retired as a school counselor and is starting on the Iowa Citizens Foster Care Review Board for Poweshiek County.
Both Dave and Tracee volunteered at this year's Grinnell Food Coalition, and both are active members of the Grinnell United Methodist Church. Dave has taught Sunday School for more than 20 years, and both he and Tracee have been youth group counselors.
Both are members of the Farm Bureau and continue to support the Poweshiek County 4-H/FFA Fair.
Please congratulate them on continuing to operate the family farm begun by Dave's parents and making a difference in the Grinnell community.
The Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award
The Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award is named for the late Jim Urfer, the long-time Grinnell Implement Case I-H dealer, who was a charter member of Grinnell Ag Appreciation Day. The award is on display at Grinnell Implement. A new Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award recipient is determined each year by the Grinnell Lions Club. Winners are selected based on criteria that emphasize good farming practices, resource management, conservation and community involvement. The award has been in place since 2013.
Dave Van Arkel of Rural Malcom shares a word with those gathered at the Grinnell Lions Ag Appreciation Day on Thursday, Aug. 26 after he and his family received the Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming honor.
First District Congresswoman Ashley Hinson is guest speaker at the Poweshiek County Republican Fall Fundraiser, Sept. 9
The Grinnell Chamber of Commerce will be co-hosting a job fair with IowaWorks on Friday, Aug, 27 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Central Park. Grinnell Chamber members along with businesses from Poweshiek, Tama, Hardin, Marshall, Story and Jasper will be in attendance. There will be 30 plus businesses attending with jobs they are seeking to get filled.
In the event that there is inclement weather, the job fair will be held at Hotel Grinnell. If you are interested in participating in the event, please contact Maddy to get registered. If you are a job seeker, no registration is required. The job fair will be a first come, first serve event- where applicants have opportunities for on-the-spot interviews if the business requests to do so with the applicant.
“We know how hard the labor shortage has been on our employers this year. We hope we are able to help them navigate this tough time while also helping those seeking new employment opportunities,” noted Rachel Kinnick, CEO of the Chamber. “We’re excited to partner with IowaWorks to help us expand connections throughout the region.
If your business is interested in attending or submitting open positions, please sign at: