Howard County is wrapped in a kaleidoscope of color through the Barn Quilts of Howard County Project.
The project goals were identified to emphasize the historic role of barns and quilting, while also benefiting the county economically.
A project that began in Adams County, Ohio in 2001 moved into Grundy County, IA in 2003 and was organized by Pat Gorman, Field Specialist with Iowa State University Extension. For the past several years Barn Quilts have continued to be displayed throughout 12 counties in Iowa with Howard County the newest addition.
Seed money to start the project came from Howard County Farm Bureau and the Iowa Farm Bureau. Support also came from Pine Needles Quilt Store. Marcia Nagel was excited to be included in a project promoting quilting patterns, agriculture and tourism. We also received a grant from the Howard County Community Foundation.
Sue Barnes, ISU Extension Howard County Office Assistant and Lynette Anderson, Howard County Youth Coordinator have worked together to identify barns and farm families throughout Howard County, investigate funding sources, and solicit youth and adult volunteers from the Howard
County 4-H Program. To date six 4-H Clubs of Howard County have partnered with the six families working on the construction of six barn quilts.
The Barn Quilts of Howard County project highlight the four "H's" of 4-H, Heads, Hands, Heart and Health. We started by putting our heads together planning a project to promote Howard County. Utilizing many hands to make light work, making a difference. Warming the hearts of tourists with a palette of color on the barns and promoting agriculture, the health of Howard County. "This is a Citizenship Project that fosters youth/adult partnerships, challenges communication skills and builds leaders for tomorrow." said Lynette Anderson, County Youth Coordinator.
Barn quilt owners are: Bob & Jeannie Vobr, Cresco; Bart & Julie Wilson, Cresco; Randy & Darrelleen Lewis, Lime Springs; Randy & Vicki Mracek, Protivin; Lon Scheidel, Schley; and Lorraine Peckham & Bev Meade of Cresco.
Partnering 4-H Clubs are Afton Aces, Flying Hoofs, Heritage Homesteaders, Howard Center Stars, Millennium Masters and Saratoga 4-H.