Tom Kauffman, 57, of Boone was inducted into the 2019 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair.
Ninety-six Iowa counties participated this year and selected 135 inductees for their outstanding service and dedication to 4-H. Inductees were presented a certificate as they were introduced on stage.
Tom Kauffman has been a passionate volunteer for the 4-H program in Boone County for over 30 years. His encouraging attitude and infectious laugh have left a positive impact on Boone County 4-H.
Tom started his 4-H career as a Boone County 4-H’er in the Boxholm Bearcats 4-H Club. His first big volunteer role after graduating was serving as a Youth Committee member for four years.
After that, he held many volunteer roles, including Club Leader, Dairy and Meat Goat Superintendent, Sheep Co-Superintendent, FSQA volunteer, fair board member, Iowa 4-H Youth Conference Chaperone and Extension Council member.
In 1998, Tom started serving as a livestock superintendent for the Boone County Fair, a position he continues to hold today. Throughout this time, he has served as the Meat Goat Superintendent and Sheep Co-Superintendent.
When we were in need of a dairy goat superintendent, Tom graciously volunteered. He didn’t know much about dairy goats at the time but he learned quickly and has served in the role for a number of years.
“Tom is very hard working and reliable. We can always count on him to help out wherever needed and bring his big smile,” said Natalie Hedlund from the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Boone County.
In 2000, when his son, John was serving on State 4-H Council, Tom volunteered to be an Iowa 4-H Youth Conference chaperone. He enjoyed the experience so much that he has continued to be a chaperone annually for the last 18 years.
According to Hedlund Boone County 4-H and the Hwy 30 Corridor counties are very thankful to have Tom serving as a male chaperone since male chaperones are hard to find.
“Tom’s enthusiastic attitude ensures that everyone that he interacts with at the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference has an enjoyable experience—youth find Tom relatable and a great role model,” she said.
In 2002, Tom helped facilitate the combining of the two Boxholm area 4-H clubs, the Boxholm Bearcats and the Boxholm Busy Bees into a new club called the Boxholm Blazers.
He then served as a club leader for the Boxholm Bearcats from 1993-2002 and for the Boxholm Blazers from 2002-2008.
In 2007, Tom was elected to the Boone County Extension Council and still serves in the role today. After Boone County ISU Extension and Outreach purchased a building for their office,
Tom always has supplies in his truck for any issues that may arise, including cutting a desk in half to get it out the front door of the Extension Office!
Kauffman lives in Pilot Mound with his wife, Frances. Tom and Frances have two kids who were very active in the 4-H program—John and Holly.
Tom enjoys farming, working with sheep and tractor pulling. Tom is a strong supporter of 4-H and we thank him for helping to “make the best better”.
Hedlund explains how this is quite the feat and Kauffman is very qualified for this acclimate. In order to be even be considered for the Hall of Fame,
“counties select inductees for their exceptional work in contributing to the lives of 4-H members and the overall 4-H program,” said Hedlund. “Many inductees served as club leaders, youth mentors, fair superintendents or fair board members, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county council members, county youth council members, fair judges, financial supporters, chaperones or ISU Extension and Outreach staff members.”
The inductees have demonstrated dedication, encouragement, commitment and guidance to Iowa’s 4-H’ers through the years.
“Iowa 4-H volunteers and staff greatly impact our youth and this is one way we can recognize them for their remarkable service and commitment,” said Tillie Good, volunteer specialist, Iowa 4-H Youth Development.
The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was initiated in 2002 to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of 4-H.
A summary of previous honorees was on display at the 2019 Iowa State Fair in the 4-H Exhibits Building.