Duncombe couple gives back through 4-H
Kerry Rees: ‘I think it’s a great program to see how kids learn and grow’
DUNCOMBE — Both Jim and Kerry Rees were members of 4-H when they were growing up.
Now that they are established in their careers and have children of their own, they are back in 4-H.
A pair of lambs helped to bring them back.
Their oldest daughter, Hannah, got those lambs to show in the Webster County Fair several years ago.
Now the family has about 40 crossbred sheep on its acreage near Duncombe, and Jim Rees is a regular volunteer with the 4-H sheep project.
“Once you start, it’s kind of hard to stop,” he said.
Over the years, he’s helped to weigh in the sheep the 4-H members will show in the fair. He also helps to set up the sheep barn at the fairgrounds.
Sheep, he said, are smaller and easier for the kids to handle.
Jim Rees said he just enjoys helping the kids with their animals.
The pee wee show, in which the youngest 4-H members dress up in costumes and dress up their lambs as well, is one of the cutest things to see at the fair, he said.
About six years ago, Kerry Rees became an adult 4-H leader, first with the Washington Winners and now with the Dayton Tigers. She helps with one meeting a month. She also sets up and coordinates activities for club members.
“I think it’s a great program to see how kids learn and grow,” she said. “And it teaches them a lot about work ethic and communication skills.”
“Anything a kid is interested in can become a 4-H project,” she added.
She said that their son, Daven, got interested in wood projects while a 4-H member and is now pursuing woodworking as a business. She added that daughter Hannah did some child development projects and is now thinking about majoring in education when she starts at Iowa State University in Ames this fall.
Youngest daughter Hailey is a freshman at Southeast Valley High School and shows sheep in 4-H.
At the Rees home, sheep graze in pens not far from trucks and trailers belonging to P & R Entry Door Inc. That business, started by Jim Rees’ father, Pat Rees, sells, installs and maintains overhead garage doors for residential and commercial use. Jim Rees took over the business in 2016 following his father’s death.
Kerry Rees is a nurse at UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center. She works in the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation department.
In 2020, the couple received the 4-H Alumni Award.