Longtime Winnebago County resident and 4-H leader Mary Peterson was recently inducted into the 2021 4-H Hall of Fame at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.
Peterson was born and raised in Winnebago County and still resides here with her husband, Dave. Her love for 4-H began at a young age when she became a member of the Buffalo Center 4-H club. Later in life, Mary added council member to her title. She served on the council for more than 20 years. In that time, she served as secretary and vice-chair.
Her roots with 4-H and Winnebago County made her an essential part of the Winnebago County Extension Council. She has always been a strong believer in promoting and supporting all youth in the Winnebago County 4-H program, according to a Winnebago County ISU Extension and Outreach news release.
"Mary’s biggest asset while being on the council was her eagerness and willingness to help programs grow by using her connections to help create partnerships," Winnebago County Director Ashley Throne said. "She has always been ready to take on the hard jobs with a fun and positive outlook."
Every year, Peterson would volunteer to manage the inflatable slides and bouncy houses at the annual Winnebago County Family Fall Festival. She was also heavily involved in the work of the Winnebago County Fair Board, and served as a board member for a number of years.
Peterson was instrumental in forming the Winnebago County Fair Enhancement committee, which helped to create a stronger relationship between the Winnebago County Extension Office and the Winnebago County Fair Board.
While Mary retired from the Winnebago County Extension Council in 2020, she still serves as an active volunteer and is an essential part of the office.