DES MOINES — Dennis and Polly Sweet of Arispe have been selected to be inductees to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during the Iowa State fair.
Dennis began as a 4-H member in Ringgold County, then switched to Union County 4-H when his father Francis founded the first club in Pleasant Township, Pleasant Pals, where Dennis and his siblings were members. Dennis served as treasurer, secretary and president. His project work focused on showing sheep.
As an adult, Dennis was available to help members with their sheep projects before and during the fair, and hauled animals, restored tractors and many other projects to county and state fairs for local members. For many years his car trailer was used as the base for the fair parade float for a nearby club.
Dennis and Pauline also volunteered many years as members of the Union County Fair Board. The Snack Shack was their area of responsibility, keeping everyone supplied with cotton candy, lemonade and ice cream.
Dennis hauled lambs to the processing plant after the livestock auction.
For nearly 35 years, the couple has supported the Union County Fair livestock auction. Dennis buys animals from members in his area of the county, particularly the youngest members just getting started in the 4-H program.
Pauline annually donates six to 10 freshly baked fruit or pecan pies to be auctioned in support of local scholarships, camps, project marerials and Clover Kid program supplies.
“Well, I just think that 4-H is very important for the kids,” said Dennis. “It is a good program, and it helps kids in a lot of ways. I guess, too, like my dad, I really enjoy the kids.”
In addition to 4-H, Dennis and Pauline are active in the Shannon City Community Church, where Dennis serves as treasurer. They both have been school bus drivers, and Dennis served on the Union County Sheriff’s reserves. They have a son, two daughters, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren,