Sharon Ford of Brooklyn was named the 2021 Poweshiek County 4-H Hall of Fame inductee at the Poweshiek County Fair on Thursday, July 15. Gavin Tindle, right, holds the 4-H Hall of Fame plaque being presented to Sharon, who is joined by her husband, Loren. The Poweshiek Pioneers 4-H Club nominated Sharon for the hall of fame honor. Representing the club at the announcement was William Manatt and Sam Johnson, both at left.
By J.O. Parker
Giving to others is something Sharon Ford takes to heart.
She is a past 4-H leader, a retired school teacher, volunteer and community partner in Brooklyn. Her work in helping youth through the years and her involvement in the Brooklyn Community, schools and churches has led to the Poweshiek County 4-H Program naming her the 2021 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame inductee.
The announcement of her receiving the hall of fame honor came at the Poweshiek County Fair on Thursday, July 15.
Sharon will receive her honor at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 22 in the 4-H Building.
When asked what being named to the 4-H Hall of Fame means to her, Sharon said she is humbled and greatly appreciates this honor.
“This came as a complete surprise,” she said.
Sharon was nominated for the hall of fame honor by the Poweshiek Pioneers 4-H Club.
Sharon was a 4-H member growing up. She was a parent helper when her daughter first started 4-H and then became one of the chapter leaders of the Bear Creek Pepper Uppers, a position she held from 2005-2009.
During her time as a 4-H parent helper, Sharon assisted with getting a grant for BGM to plant trees along the newly built elementary school playground. She also helped with county fair open class judging for years. She mainly was a judge’s assistant with photography where she helped by attaching ribbons and displaying photographs.
Sharon was involved with the youth in AG program, where she helped 4-H’ers with their indoor projects.
She holds a degree from Iowa State University. She moved to Brooklyn in 1983 and started working for the AEA, serving preschoolers with special needs starting out. She then took seven years off to do in home daycare until her children began school. Sharon taught preschool at BGM for 22 years, retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Sharon is also an active member of PEO, a philanthropic organization for women, and TTT (Time, Talents and Treasures). She has served on P.I.E. (Partners in Education) and Music Boosters at BGM in executive capacities. She has volunteered for countless school activities. She is active with First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn teaching Sunday school, and helping organize the Christmas pageants, Vacation Bible School, making banners and is a former member of session. She also is part of the Brooklyn Community Choir and donates blood whenever she can.
When asked about the importance of 4-H and youth development, Sharon said 4-H allows children the chance to learn about a variety of projects and grow in their abilities.
“Children develop 21st century skills such as building self-confidence, leadership, communication and presentation skills (through 4-H) that will help them in their future endeavors,” she said.
Sharon and her husband, Loren, have two children, Stefanie and Elliot.