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Building up communityBuilding up community

Meet the 2018 Iowa Master Farm Homemaker Award winners.

Lynn Betts

September 3, 2018

2 Min Read
PASSION FOR PEOPLE: Whether it’s raising money for a new Extension center or mentoring the next generation, Mary Ann Kunde is up for the challenge.

Mary Ann Kunde stepped up when the Andrew Ecumenical Church group was looking for a volunteer to head up its vacation Bible school 10 years ago. Each year since, she’s developed materials, recruited volunteers and organized it all.

It’s one of many acts of community service the 2018 Iowa Master Farm Homemaker has undertaken. She’s one of the first to volunteer for community projects, friends and neighbors say.

When she volunteered to help raise funds for a proposed Extension office and Outreach Center for Jackson County, Kunde, a cook and baker, didn’t limit her contributions to the pies she baked. She organized and led a pie-making committee that produced 460 apple, peach and cherry pies as a fundraiser over the 2017 holiday season.Kunde: ‘The glue that holds everything together’

“Together We Build!” is the theme of that fundraising project. It’s an appropriate theme for all four Iowa women selected as 2018 Iowa Master Farm Homemakers.

Wieben helps park thrive
There’s Helen Wieben in Dysart, who was a Sunday school and Bible school teacher for many years and has played a part in many community fund-raisers. Wieben helped raise money to build a new gazebo and playground equipment in the city park, and helped establish the Dysart Historical Ag Museum.

Related:Kunde: ‘The glue that holds everything together’

Klaes supports youth
In Mitchell County, Mary Klaes, mother of five adult children, has always considered the community as part of her “family.”

As a volunteer with the Osage FFA Chapter over the years, she recruited community members to help students prepare for contests, work with projects and participate in leadership activities. Klaes was also a 4-H leader.

Members of the high school band also have benefited from her sewing talent, and thanks to Klaes, the marching band gets ice water and snack bars after each football game.

For years, she has taught religious education at her church. The Osage FFA Chapter recently established the Mary Klaes Volunteer Award to acknowledge her hours of assistance and leadership in the community.

Mueller eager to help
Fran Mueller has long been involved in community activities in Bremer County. She’s an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and its school in Waverly.

Always saying “yes” when asked to volunteer, Mueller served on the Allen Hospital Board in Waterloo during a critical time in its transition and has been active in the Community Builders program of Wartburg College.

Many years ago Mueller organized the first meeting of what became the Bremer County Corn Growers Association.

Mueller also serves the needs of people in other countries through Self-Help International. A member of the Self-Help board for 20 years, she has visited and helped support projects in Ghana and Nicaragua to improve the agriculture and lives of impoverished people.

 Betts writes from Johnston.


About the Author(s)

Lynn Betts

Lynn Betts writes from Johnston, Iowa. He is a frequent contributor to Wallaces Farmer.

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