by Sharon Tausch
It is often said good deeds frequently go unnoticed. In some instances, however, it is the results of the good deeds that are seen but not the people responsible for them. There are many festive events occuring annually, such as the Morgan County Fair, Stover Fair, Apple Festival, Hillbilly Fair, community beautification activities, ice cream socials, and a host of other summer and winter festivities that add fun and fellowship to the lives of local citizens and visitors.
Those who attend the above activties are aware of the food stands, flower displays, pet and livestock presentations, and perhaps a small group of people wearing T-shirts with the logo, Kountry Kids 4-H club. According to the group’s leader, Stover resident Bobbie Kroeschen, she and her 19-member group of upcoming Morgan County citizens are involved in many county activities throughout the year. Their most recent project included sprucing up the flower beds at the Stover welcome signs.
Since all three signs were installed, the local 4-H club has volunteered their time to plant flowers so the signs look nice for local residents and visitors driving through Stover. “We cleaned up all the leaves, thinned out the old flowers, and planted some new ones. Then we put down fresh mulch,” Kroeschen said. “We do this each year before Memorial Day weekend.
The month of June brings the annual 4-H summer camp, and participating local members are gearing up for the 2019 session. The summer event provides 4-H members with the chance for recreation and working with others on a non-local level. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about the importance of leadership. Kroeschen’s son, Brody, 14, has attended camp the past six years and will be serving as a counselor this year. “He has made some lifelong friends at camp,” Kroeschen said.
Another June project in which the Kountry Kids participate includes hosting the Pet Parade at the Stover Fair. This is the 10th year of their involvement in the event. “We organize and provide prizes for all the entries,” Kroeschen said. Plus, “Our kids enjoy seeing all the different pets that participate, especially the ones in costumes.”
July brings the Morgan County Fair. According to Kroeschen, the end-goal is for the kids to have their projects finished by fair time. Livestock is shown and judged, and 4-H projects are displayed and judged. These items are eligible to be chosen for competition at the Missouri State Fair. “I also have many club members taking their livestock, and three younger members plan to give demonstrations,” Kroeschen said.
Although many attend the Morgan County Fair, most do not know how much work it takes to make sure the fair is an annual success. Not only does Kroeschen work with Brody, who shows pigs and has other projects, she helps her club members get projects ready and entered on time, organizes the ham and bacon projects, sells ads for the fair book, obtains donations for the various classes, and orders ribbons, plaques and banners. She also chairs the livestock show committee (for the past five years) and works with the Master Gardeners, the fair board, FFA advisors, members, and 4-H leaders.
There have been many challenges over the years and Kroeschen said she has thought of stepping down at different times. She said, though, “When even one child hugs me and says, ‘Thank you for all you do,’ then I know I can’t quit. I’ve done something right and that keeps me going as a volunteer. It’s what it’s all about for me. Seeing the kids smile when they’ve accomplished something and seeing them grow. 4-H is truly a great program.”
As far back as 1910, 4-H clubs have been an inspiration for young people to learn how to serve their communities and become better citizens. The Hs on the familiar four-leaf clover stand for head, heart, hands, and health, and each meeting begins with the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”
The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills of young people through experimental learning programs such as a positive youth development approach. Programs are available for children ages 8 to 18, and 4-H Clover-Bud programs are available for children ages 5 to 7. The 4-H club is a program in which students can participate throughout elementary, middle, and high school years.
Kroeschen has served as secretary on the 4-H council the past 14 years and became club leader approximately 12 years ago. She and her husband, Wayne, who is a lifelong resident of Stover, and their son, Brody, live on a cattle farm south of Stover. She and Wayne met while on a trail ride in Eminence. The Kroeschens also have two older sons who are now married and each have a child of their own. Both families live in the Stover area and are involved in agriculture. The older boys also grew up as 4-H members, which is why Kroeschen said she got involved as a 4-H volunteer.
Having grown up in rural LaCygne, Kan., Kroeschen is no stranger to small-town life. She has a background of different careers, which is an asset to her as a leader of young people who will soon be leaving home and finding careers of their own. Before moving to Stover in 2003, Kroeschen worked as a dental assistant in Overland Park, Kan. She also worked as a flight attendant for a short time for a family-owned airline in Des Moines, Iowa. She has worked as a loan officer at Yellow Freight Employee Credit Union and was an accounts payable clerk for Spring Publishing and Advertising.
Since moving to Stover, she worked again as a dental assistant, then went to Gates Rubber Company as a temporary worker in the finishing department. She was later hired as secretary for Farm Bureau Insurance in Versailles and worked there for more than 10 years before she left to go work for Cathy Daniels in the Morgan County Clerk’s office, serving as a deputy clerk for two years. At a family member’s suggestion, she went to real estate school, received her license, and is now working with Dianne Conner at United Country - Conner Realty LLC in Stover.
Kroeschen said she is looking forward to her new career and is excited to be in a position to help people find the homes and properties they are looking for. “I am also looking forward to being able to work close to home in a flexible position that allows me the freedom to be involved in my son’s school activities and my 4-H club activities,” Kroeschen said. “It’s important, since I now have two grandbabies. I need to be able to watch them when needed! Our sons are blessings to us, but nothing compares to being  a grandparent.”
Working with young people and helping others has been on Kroeschen’s agenda in the past and will continue to be a factor in the future. While it may or may not be true that good deeds frequently go unnoticed, it is the results of these good deeds that matter. As each community event comes and goes, Kroeschen and her group of 4-H members will be working behind and in front of the scenes, continuing to serve their club, their community, their country, and their world.

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