Photo taken at the new 4-H food stand and livestock show ring building. Pictured are Tyler Carney, Fair Board Director; Matt Harmon, Fair Board Director; Scott McClellan, Fair Board Vice President; Collin Clark, Fair Board President; CW Thomas, Fair Foundation President; Roy Sargeant, Fair Foundation Treasurer; Mary Jane Carothers, 10 Squared Women nominator; and Penny Wetzel, Fair Foundation Director.

Special to the Times Vedette

The 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County held their first quarter meeting of 2024 on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall in Guthrie Center. Forty-six women attend in person and seven members attended via Zoom. The group added six new members this quarter.

Diane Flanery presented for Guthrie County Hospital Foundation; Mary Jane (M.J.) Carothers presented for Guthrie County Fairgrounds; and Devan Seeck presented for St. Thomas More Center. After hearing all three presentations, the group announced a lump sum of $¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬14,800 to be presented to Guthrie County Fair Foundation. This total consists of member donations and several employer matches.

Since 1858, the annual Guthrie County Fair has been a tradition in our county. For 166 years, generations of Guthrie County families have spent weekends attending and loving the fair. Today, the fair is one of the most successful county fairs in Iowa due largely to the fact that businesses and individuals from every Guthrie County community consistently support the event.

The Guthrie County Fair Board, seeing the need to move fair infrastructure out of the flood zone and to replace antiquated and unsafe structures, have almost finished a complete overhaul to the fairgrounds in the last 16 years, beginning with a new grandstand in 2008, new restrooms and fair offices in 2010 and completion of the new Event Center in 2012. In 2016, the board began in earnest to replace other aging fairground structures. In 2016, a new beef barn and small animal exhibit buildings were constructed, soon to be followed by a new Lions Club and Legion facility, a new Art and Ag exhibit building, a new 4-H Static building and, finally, a new open-area amphitheater that was completed in 2022. The fairground has expanded the popular camping opportunities in recent years to 272 individual electric hook ups. The amount of support for these improvements from the entire county has been amazing, according to Fair Directors.

Last year, the Board committed to its biggest single project in recent years — replacement of the 4-H food stand and the livestock show ring. The show ring had been in use since the late 1950s. It no longer had functioning restrooms. The layout of the ring required that cattle exit into a widely used pedestrian area, which was often dangerous for the exhibitor, the animal and the crowd that gathered there. The 4-H food stand was becoming structurally unsound and needed replaced.

This ambitious project, which started last fall with the demolition of the old facilities, is set for completion at fair time this year. The $700,000 project includes a new secure show ring, new and increased seating, offices for the Extension staff, a new kitchen for the 4-H food stand with covered seating, and additional restrooms. The building is up and being readied now for the fair, but approximately half of that funding still needs to be raised for completion. Most notable, as pointed out by fair board directors, is the need for equipment in the 4-H Food Stand kitchen.

All the county 4-H clubs and their members, with the assistance of the Guthrie County Youth Committee, man the popular 4-H food stand. The money raised from this venture supports county scholarships for 4-H members and 4-H educational workshops. Not only are the revenues important for those worthwhile youth support projects, but club members working there learn valuable skills such as working as a team; customer service; food service skills; and the rewards of community service.

The fair and 4-H still provide youth of all backgrounds opportunities to become lifelong learners and responsible adults. 4-H is popular in Guthrie County, which boasts 11 4-H clubs and 255 members, ranging in age from 10-18. Of those 255 members in 2023, 95 were livestock exhibitors and used the show facilities. Additionally, the Clover Kids group for ages 5-9 currently has about 60 members enrolled. Fans of the fair and 4-H in this county indicate that supporting kids and their futures is a priority.

The Guthrie County Fair Board and the Guthrie County Fair Foundation have both expressed sincere appreciation for the 10 Squared Women donation.

“We are so grateful for the generous donation from this organization which will go a long way toward purchasing new 4-H stand kitchen equipment and finishing the attached covered picnic area of the facility,” Fair Board Director Tyler Carney said. “It will be a great place for our 4-H members to work and for fair goers to enjoy.”

For more information about this year’s Guthrie County Fair, held over Labor Day Weekend Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, visit

10 Squared Women’s focus is on donating funds to local organizations that vow to put those funds to work, right in our back yards. The funds are used in various projects to benefit Guthrie County community’s projects and residents. The group has donated $328,450 since its inception in 2017.

The 10 Squared Women’s group holds meetings quarterly the fourth Tuesday in February, May, August and November, with dates and locations subject to change. Members in attendance hear from three nominated organizations, drawn from “the hat” of member-nominated organizations at random, and vote on the winning cause that night. The remaining 2024 meeting dates will be May 28, Aug. 27 and Nov. 19 (held a week early due to Thanksgiving). The May and August 2024 meetings location will be Twin Vines in Panora. The November location will be announced at a later date.

The group currently has 142 members. Their goal is to reach 200 members. For a list of the more than 25 benefactors to date, visit their Facebook page, listed at the end of this article.

10 Squared Women members are not required to attend meetings, however, for their vote to count, must attend the live meeting or virtually. All members are expected to write their donation checks whether they can attend the meeting and vote or not. Attending the meetings virtually via Zoom in order to vote has been an alternative option for those who cannot attend in person.

To learn how to get involved, visit their Facebook page at or email Membership Forms and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on their Facebook page or by contacting them through Facebook or email.