Meet The 2017 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade Marshal, Dean Morehouse

Jill Garris, the 2017 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board president, named her pick for this year’s fair parade marshal. The parade will take place on Sunday, July 23, from Linway Plaza in Goshen to the fairgrounds. Here’s her announcement:

The person I’ve selected as 2017 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade marshal is a Milford, Ind., native. He is the fourth generation in his family to farm the land in Jackson Township along U.S. 6. He, along with his sons and now grandsons, work together to farm more than 1,600 acres in the New Paris area.

He and his late wife began farming more than 60 years ago. They originally had a dairy operation close to Leesburg but moved north twice and eventually wound up on the family farm in 1969.

He’s the father of four children — two sons and two daughters — and all were involved for 10-years in the 4-H program. He is a grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 9. This family’s involvement in and passion for the 4-H program is very similar to my own family’s, and it truly embodies my theme this year: “4-H…Generations of Farm Fresh Family Fun.”

Having served our community on the Jackson Township Advisory Board, he was also a Federal Land Bank director, member of the ASCS board, served two six-year terms on the Elkhart County Purdue Cooperative Extension Service board, was a township firefighter for more than 20 years and attends First Brethren Church in New Paris. He has been involved in the New Paris Lions Club for more than 50 years and, due in part to his commitment and involvement, received the organization’s highest honor — the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. In 1976, his family was named Farm Family of the Year by the Elkhart County Agricultural Society and in 1989, they were selected as a 4-H Family of the Year. In 1994, he was honored as New Paris Citizen of the Year.

In 1997, their family homestead received an Ag Beautification Award and in 2008, he and his wife were cited with the Friend of Extension Award. That same year, he also received the Uncle Elmer Award from the Ag Society, a top award which honors an individual who gives back to the community and serves others.

He has served alongside all of us on our fair board for 31 years, was president in 1995 and in 2005 was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Indiana Association of Fairs Festivals and Events.

This individual was instrumental in getting our dream of a bridge to cross Rock Run Creek to become a reality in 2015.

After the passing of my father in 1986, I latched on to this man as a mentor and surrogate father and I would imagine to this day, he regrets his decision to allow me to do so.

For all of these reasons and many MANY more it is my privilege and honor to announce that the 2017 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade marshal is Dean Morehouse.

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