KIRKMAN — Arlo M. Petersen of Petersen Pony Farms in Kirkman was inducted into the 2019 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame for Shelby County at the Iowa State Fair.
Arlo has been coming to the Shelby County Fair since he was a baby. He is the youngest of four children and was the child who chose to carry on his father’s family tradition that began in 1930. The family tradition is still going strong with his children and grandchildren. Throughout the years it has become more evident that without the support of the whole family he couldn’t do what he still does today at the Shelby County Fair.
With all the chores and farming he used to do he was also a faithful caretaker for many years to his late wife, Delores. Mr. Petersen is a member of the Shelby County Saddle Club where he participated in many trail rides and overnight rides. He was also a member of the Appaloosa Horse Club and over the years has owned and raised many ponies, horses, and mules. Many people know him for his single and double hitches they have seen in parades over the years.
The ponies could also be seen at Carsten’s Farm Days grinding corn, operating the elevator at Kimballton’s Corn Husking Festival, or at Greenridge Steam Show grinding corn while the bigger horses were operating the antique tread mill.
If you walk through the pony barn at the Shelby County Fair, which was dedicated to him and his father, you will see the baby ponies are a huge hit with the kids and even the adults. In his younger years, the family encouraged their two children, Jeff and Deb to be members of 4-H and participate in horse shows. Later on, they were able to support their four grandchildren in their 4-H careers and, of course, at horse shows.
To this day Arlo still attends 4-H horse workouts once a week even though the grandkids are no longer in 4-H. Arlo sits at numerous horse shows on the weekends and encourages all the young participants exhibitors showing their horses.