Manitowoc County 4-H Pioneer
Orabelle Fisher, 4-H pioneer and lifelong friend of Extension. Raised on a dairy farm in Cleveland, WI and the oldest of five siblings, she learned responsibility and the value of hard work.
Orabelle’s connection with 4-H began as a club general leader and foods leader for the Liberty Go-Getters in the 1950s. She was the 4-H Leaders Council treasurer and later a member of the State 4-H Leader’s Board. Beyond 4-H, Orabelle was active on the County Extension Program Planning Committee and Extension Homemakers; where she was a national vice-president.
Orabelle’s 4-H and Extension Homemakers involvement in the 1950s-60s laid the foundation for her lifelong community service. In an interview at age 100, she said, “Extension helped me. I could not have done any of those later things had it not been for Extension.” In 1978, she received the Friends of Extension Award. Orabelle led the charge on issues that resulted in benefiting families and communities.
Orabelle’s journey from 4-H leadership to broader community service was an inspiration to many 4-Hers and Extension staff. She was a founding member of Wisconsin Women For Agriculture; testifying in Madison and Washington, D.C. for changes in the inheritance tax laws. She also worked to bring a medical facility to Valders. In her golden years, she provided transportation and visitation to the elderly (drove until age 97!).
Orabelle passed away in December 2020 at age 102. A 4-H pioneer, who, right along with the youth, learned leadership through 4-H and applied it throughout her life. Orabelle’s response during a 1957 Farm Journal feature story about her leadership, “It’s thinking of the other person until you forget yourself.”