The Horse Council made the following comments regarding their selection:
"Valerie has tirelessly served the 4-H youth of Cherokee County for nine years. She has a great knowledge not only of horses, but also of developing youth. She is always willing to share helpful hints to help the rider and horse work as one. Val was instrumental in helping the Cherokee County Board secure land for a new and safer arena so the youth would no longer have to share ground with the demolition derby. She guided the club in building an announcer/concession stand and covered bleachers. Currently, Val is part of a committee hoping to raise funds to replace the existing horse barn. The new facility would allow room for indoor riding and safer stalls for the horses.
"Emphasizing community service with her 4-H club is also one of Valerie's commitments - her club participates in the annual Cherokee Christmas Parade, Festival of Trees, and donates a book basket to the Cherokee Library's annual silent auction fundraiser. They have also helped raise funds to donate to the County Conservation Board for the expansion and development of new horse trails at Martin's Access, a county park.
Along with her involvement with 4-H, Valerie is a co-chairperson of the Cherokee PRCA Rodeo. This annual event includes not only three rodeo performances, but many other rodeo-related activities. Val and her family are members of several saddle clubs in the area, as well as AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) members."
Not mentioned is Val's business, Bow-Wow Boutique, which caters to canine needs, including grooming and boarding. She has also served as the instructor of a Dog Training class at the Cherokee Western Iowa Tech Community College Conference Center in Cherokee for the last two years.