Swanson inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame

Florine Swanson gives her Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech on August 24th at the ceremony that was held in Urbandale.  Photo submitted.

            When you sit down with the friends and colleagues of Florine Swanson to talk about her achievements, you better block out a significant amount of time. They cannot help but expound on her great accomplishments because there is just so much to talk about. And for all these accomplishments, Florine recently received a major honor. On August 24th, she was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.

            Florine, who lives in rural Galt, grew up on a farm outside of Norway, Iowa. She was active in 4-H throughout her youth, an activity that would shape much of her future life. As a girl, she always had big dreams. Florine says, “I wanted to be a PE teacher, a lawyer, a county Extension Home Economist or a country music singer when I grew up!” She graduated from Iowa State with a Home Economics degree. She found herself in Wright County when she married her husband Ron in the mid 60s. She soon started what she still points to as her most important jobs: being a farmer and a mother to three sons: Kendall, Stuart, and Steve.

            While those jobs could have kept her busy by themselves, Florine quickly took on more posts. She laughs when she recalls how only three weeks after she was married, she was painting in her new house when some local kids knocked on her door asking her to be a 4-H leader. And of course Florine said yes. Florine notes that education and helping children were always a huge part of her life, as one can see from her earliest jobs. She was also a school librarian, a nursery school teacher, a religious education director, and worked with the T.T.T. organization to provide scholarships for girls.

For the full story, see the Sept 5th edition of the Monitor