Fresh from the first lady

Katie Schneider never lost faith that Michelle Obama would return a letter she sent her about gardening.

Her faith came through as the 28-year-old special needs adult received a letter from the first lady earlier this month. It was handwritten and signed by Michelle Obama.

“I screamed,” Katie said of her reaction when the letter arrived.

Katie, the daughter of Eldon and Monica Schneider, of Marshalltown, has a book about gardening and healthy eating published by the Obamas. After looking through the book, she decided to send Michelle Obama a picture of herself in the Schneider garden with a letter about how the book inspired her.

A couple of months later, the return note from Michelle arrived at her door.

“I don’t care what your political view is, when they take the time to send a card back, it’s pretty awesome,” Monica said.

The letter from Michelle noted how proud she was that Katie was learning how to grow her own healthful food. In the letter the first lady called Katie an “amazing young woman.”

“I’m their No. 1 fan,” Katie said.

Monica also got a letter from the first lady talking about how “spectacular” Katie was.

Katie is now even more inspired to work in her garden as she grows broccoli, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and radishes.

Monica said they will frame the notes and put them in Katie’s room. She said her daughter was always thinking positively about the possibility of a return letter from the Obamas.

“She knew it would come,” Monica said.

Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or