• From left, Earl Niemeyer, MU Extension Sr. Director for Advancement Rachel Augustine and Shari Beth Niemeyer. The Niemeyers made a gift of $30,000 to endow the Earl and Shari Beth Niemeyer Pike County 4-H Scholarship. Photo by Stan Schwartz, Lakeway Publishers of Missouri/Pike County News; used with permission.

A new scholarship will help fund post-high school education for Pike County 4-H’ers, thanks to an endowed scholarship from Earl and Shari Beth Niemeyer of Bowling Green.

Both were both active in Pike County 4-H as youths: Shari Beth belonged to the St. Clement Busy Bees, and Earl was a 10-year member of the Hartford Go-Getters. Their four children – Ryan, Scott, Elizabeth and Reed – were also 10-year members of the Go-Getters and served as regional representatives.

The entire Niemeyer family appreciates the value of education beyond high school. Shari Beth, a special education teacher for 32 years, and two of the Niemeyer children have advanced degrees.

“Whether it is a four-year degree, a two-year degree or trade school, education beyond high school is a key component to a successful life,” said Earl, who works in ag finance for the Community State Bank of Missouri and is currently board chairman for the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

“4-H allowed all our family members to experience opportunities beyond our local area,” he added. Ryan, Scott and Elizabeth attended Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. Ryan, Scott, Elizabeth and Shari Beth (as chaperone) participated in the 4-H Global Conference in Kansas City. Several family members have stayed at the National 4-H Center in Washington, D.C., and the National 4-H Conference in Atlanta. The family has hosted three students from Japan.

“Through their participation in 4-H, the Niemeyer family was able to pursue experiences beyond the local level that not only broadened their cultural awareness, but also helped them develop important life skills and a deep appreciation for higher education,” said Rachel Augustine, senior director of advancement for University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri 4-H Foundation. “Because of this, Earl and Shari Beth have chosen to establish the Earl and Shari Beth Niemeyer Pike County 4-H Scholarship.”

The scholarship will be available beginning in fall 2024. It will be open to Pike County youths who have participated in 4-H for at least five years, including their last two years of high school. Members must be enrolled or planning to enroll as an undergraduate at an accredited college, university, community college or technical or trade school.

“It’s hard to overstate the impact of donors and volunteers on the 4-H program,” Augustine said. “Earl and Shari Beth are no exception.”

About 4-H

Missouri 4-H grows today’s youth and prepares tomorrow’s leaders. With a blend of time-tested traditions and innovative hands-on learning, Missouri youth explore and find their spark in programs ranging from agriculture and conservation to aerospace and career development. Through clubs, programs, camps, in-school and after-school experiences, University of Missouri Extension faculty, staff and thousands of volunteers guide youth in developing essential skills, building confidence and fostering connections. Together, they inspire young people to make a real difference in their communities, their country and the world. To learn more about Missouri 4-H, visit