|Honored by:||The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences|
|Brick location:||G:17 map|
I was born on March 22, 1937, in Manchester, Iowa, the daughter of Wayne J. and Lucille Grote Farmer. When I was two years old, we moved from Edgewood to Van Horne. Growing up as an only child on an Iowa farm, my parents taught me the value of sharing, truthfulness, respect, responsibility, and commitment. I also learned from them the importance of faith in God, a good education, and a strong work ethic. When I was a high school student I found I enjoyed the challenges and rewards of working with young children. This led to my decision to major in lower elementary education at Iowa State Teachers College (UNI). I graduated with honors in 1959 and later that summer I married James E. Sage. We have farmed near Waterloo for over thirty-five years. I taught second grade briefly in the Waterloo Community Schools and then decided that being a farm homemaker and mother was a full time job.
Jim and I are the parents of four children: Timothy of Van Horne and Craig of Waterloo are both graduates of Iowa State University in Farm Operations and are involved in the family farm operation, Rainbow Farms, Inc. Our daughter, Amy Herring of Prairie Village, Kansas, is also an ISU graduate in Early Childhood Education. She directs a child care center in Kansas City. Patrick is a junior at ISU majoring in animal science/pre-veterinary medicine. While the children were growing up I thought it was very important for me to be involved in their activities. I taught Sunday School at various age-levels, was superintendent for two years and served on the Christian Education Committee. I also was president of the women's organization for four years, am an ordained Elder and am currently on the Board of Deacons of First Presbyterian Church. of Waterloo. I was a room-mother, elementary school PTO president, on the parent advisory committee in their junior high and a member and secretary of the East High School parent organization. We also served on the township 4-H sponsoring committee. As we raised our children, we attempted to pass on to them the values we received from our parents. Jim and I have served together on many Farm Bureau committees over the years. I have been involved with the Black Hawk County Farm Bureau Women's group in many areas, including two years as chairman. In 1987 the “Ag-in-the-Classroom" project was included in the Iowa Farm Bureau Women's program. In Black Hawk County we began with first grade students in a Waterloo elementary school. Our goal was to provide a positive image of farmers and to teach children where their food and many other things they use, come from. The children toured our farm in the fall and other Farm Bureau members and I visited their classrooms every month of the school year, teaching about a different commodity. We did this for six years. I now have three Waterloo elementary schools and several Head Start centers involved in the with farm tours and a couple of classroom presentations a year. As a variation of this program, I also organize an annual farm tour for international students attending UNI. This gives them an opportunity to see two family farms and to understand the importance of agriculture to the Iowa economy. We have also personally hosted international guests in our home and helped them learn about farming and our culture.
I think that we are here to care about people - in our family, our community, our country, and our world. I hope that in a small way, I have made a difference in some people's lives.
Submitted on 7/1/96