Carol Peterson is the newest member of the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame, from Winnebago County.
The Iowa 4-H Foundation sponsors the annual Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Iowa State Fair. Counties nominate volunteers, community leaders, and Extension staff members who have exemplified outstanding service and dedication to the 4-H youth program in their county. Only one individual or couple per county can be nominated each year.
Carol Peterson’s love for 4-H began when she was a 4-H member herself. She started working for Winnebago County Extension in 1980 as the home economist. Later, she added director to her title and held that position until she retired in 2012 after 32 years.
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Peterson said she loved her job and it showed in her work. She was well known throughout Winnebago and surrounding counties and quickly became the face of extension. Peterson created long-lasting partnerships with local businesses and remained committed to her job. She started a number of programs in Winnebago County that are still going strong today. Family Fun Night was an event that began during the recession with the goal of bringing families together to have fun. Nineteen years later, it is still one of the well-attended events Winnebago County has to offer.
She also helped start the Family Fall Festival, another well attended family event that takes place every October. Peterson was instrumental in starting the community foundation. Winnebago County served as the administrative arm, publicizing the foundation and taking new grant applications.
Peterson not only supported 4-H in her profession, but also in her free time. She began judging at local county fairs in the 1970s and continued until 2018. She is now retired, but is still well-known within Winnebago County. Her work with Winnebago County Extension helped to build it into the program it is today.