Shari Rossow has a passion for 4-H. She is driven to open doors for the youth in Walworth and Campbell counties in her position as the 4-H advisor in both counties.
Born in Claremont and raised in northeastern South Dakota, she became involved in 4-H at a young age and chose to be involved in the club in Brown County, where there was more opportunity.
“I was a shy kid and didn’t like speaking in front of people,” Shari said. “4-H allowed me a way to start to become more comfortable in front of others.”
Her experience with 4-H helped her throughout school as she became involved in debate, declam and other fine arts.
“It opened a whole different world for me,” she said.
It is that type of experience that she wants the youth in Campbell and Walworth to have with their 4-H clubs. Shari said that sometimes 4-H is put into the showing livestock box and people don’t realize that there is so much more to the 4-H experience besides livestock.
“4-H does not fit into a box. I want to blow the lid off that box,” she said. “I want to be the kids’ mentor. I want to be there for support and encouragement to try new things.”
Shari’s experience in 4-H was varied and included showing cattle and dairy cows as well sheep. She was also involved in other aspects of 4-H including the cooking and baking, photography and horticulture. And eggs. She displayed eggs from the hens on the family farm.
“I learned different chickens lay different colored eggs,” Shari laughed. “You never know what skill you learn in 4-H you will use later in life.”
The egg experience will help her as she judges miscellaneous 4-H divisions at the South Dakota State Fair this year.
Shari attended North Dakota State University and studied to be a veterinary technician. That is where she met her husband, Tim Rossow. After college they came back to Campbell County to the family farm. She worked at Oahe Veterinary Hospital in Mobridge where she met and worked with Tami Schanzabach of Selby.
“She was my mentor,” said Shari. “Everybody knows she is a great promoter of 4-H in this area.”
She took over the Dakota Kids 4-H club in Campbell County and was the leader for 20 years.
“I was also a 4-H parent for 15 years and the president of the Campbell County 4-H Parents for 10 years,” she said.
Her children, Amanda, 27, and Charles, 24, were both very active in 4-H.
Shari has worked at various veterinary services in the area through the years and also worked at PIC in Mound City. Schedule and rule conflicts made it difficult to work there and she began looking for something else. It took some time, but she was recently approached by a Campbell County commissioner who told her he wanted her to apply for the full-time advisor job.
She interviewed and was hired. Her enthusiasm for the opportunity to work again with 4-H club members is tough to contain.
“I feel that I am getting free rein to help the 4-H kids and that I can make a difference,” she said. “I want the kids to know that I am there for them and their families, because families is what 4-H is all about.”
Shari learned about the science of baking in 4-H, but it was from her great-grandmother and grandmother that she learned the family recipes. She loved learning to can the produce grown in their family gardens and make jelly from what grew on the land.
It is important to her to have at least one sit-down meal a day at the farm, where family can share a home-cooked meal and talk about their day. Nutrition is important to her and she wants to pass that knowledge onto her 4-H family.
Shari’s recipes include some family favorites and some that have been purple ribbon winners in 4-H competition.
SHARI ROSSOW’S RECIPES
(This is Charlie’s favorite bar recipe that he baked for 4-H. Rules are no frosting but I included it.)
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. soda
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup nuts
Blend sugar, oil, vanilla and zucchini. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan and pour the batter in. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until well done.
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup marshmallows
Boil first three ingredients for one minute, take off stove. Add chocolate and marshmallows. Beat for two minutes or until smooth and spread on bars.
Flanery Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
(This recipe has been used by many 4-hers and receives purple ribbons at the county and state fairs every time!)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1 cup margarine or butter (softened)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking soda
2 tsps. vanilla
4 cups flour
Mix in given order, press slightly with sugared glass. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak
2 pounds ground beef
1 package dried onion soup mix
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. olive oil
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 package dry au jus mix
3/4 cup water
In a large bowl mix with your hands the ground beef, onion soup mix, breadcrumbs and milk. Once it is thoroughly mixed, divide into eight patties. Dredge in flour and set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium heat and brown the patties a few at a time a minute on each side. Transfer to slow cooker, stacking if you need to.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together mushroom soup, au jus mix and water. Pour over patties in the slow cooker. Cook on low for six hours or on high for four hours.
Chicken Pot Pie
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
4 cups thawed southern style hash browns
1 package (16 ounce) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 can (10 3/4 ounce) cream of chicken soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounce) cream of onion soup
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsps. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Two refrigerator piecrusts.
In a large bowl combine chicken, potatoes, vegetables, soups, milk, sour cream, flour and seasonings. Place a piecrust in each of 9-inch deep dish pie plates. Divide mixture between the two pies. Cover each with top crust, trim and seal edges.
Cover and freeze one pie (up to three months) and bake the other at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Baking the frozen potpie: Remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking. Cover edges loosely with foil and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and remove foil from edges. Bake for another 50 to 55 minutes or until golden brown.
Apple Pie Filling For freezer
24 cups peeled and sliced apples
3 Tbsps. Lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar, (half brown and half white)
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
10 cups water
In a large bowl toss apples with lemon juice (set aside.) In a large kettle, over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add water and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples and return to boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer until apple are tender (about 6 to 8 minutes.)
Cool for 30 minutes, and ladle into gallon freezer bags. Seal and freeze up to 12 months. Yields enough for five, 9-inch pies.
Thaw filling overnight or in microwave. Reheat filling and add to piecrust, dot with butter. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling bubbly.