4-H archers benefit from NextEra windfall
By Annette Tait
A chance meeting in the Oliver County courthouse led to a generous $5,000 donation by NextEra to the new 4-H Shooting Sports archery program.
“Mark was standing in the hallway prior to a county commission meeting, and we struck up a conversation,” Extension Agent Rick Schmidt said of his initial introduction to NextEra Project Manager Mark Trumbauer.
Trumbauer was waiting to appear before the commission, to present NextEra’s plans to construct wind towers and associated facilities in the county. As it turned out, NextEra has a history of becoming involved in the communities where its facilities are located, and Trumbauer has a history with the Extension Service.
“I’ve been a former employee of the Extension community at Iowa State [University]; it’s near and dear to my heart,” Trumbauer said. “4-H is something I feel very strongly about, and I think our company feels that the youth programs in communities such as Center are very, very important.”
One thing led to another, with Trumbauer and Schmidt discussing possibilities for NextEra to help support Oliver County 4-H.
The first thing that came to mind was the new shooting sports program. The fledgling program began in January, and has been using equipment originally purchased through the Wild Turkey Federation and a 4-H grant received through the school six or seven years ago. Some of the equipment used by the 4-H Shooting Sports program is shared with the school.
So far, part of the NextEra donation has been used to purchase a 6’x12’ enclosed trailer to serve the dual purpose of storage and providing a means to transport equipment to shooting meets and, weather permitting, to the gun club for practice.