AMES, Iowa – A wish made around a campfire 60 years ago led to a 1,100-acre camping center, thousands of scholarships and a $1 million budget for an organization that provides countless opportunities for Iowa youth. To celebrate these and other achievements, the Iowa 4-H Foundation will kick off its 60th anniversary recognition at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 13-23.
The celebration will begin with the following activities in the 4-H Exhibits Building, according to Shelly Greving, the foundation marketing coordinator.
4-H Alumni Day is Aug. 13. Refreshments for alumni will be available in the Iowa 4-H Foundation booth. The Alumni 4-H’ers Got Talent competition will take place at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage.
The 2009 Iowa 4-H Cookbook will be for sale at the State Fair special price of $20 (retail is $25).
Add your name to the Clover Field. Buy a clover for $1, sign it and add it to a “field” that begins in the 4-H Exhibits Building and will spread across Iowa at other 4-H events this fall.
Participate in a photo op with 4-H founders. Get your photo taken next to photo cut-outs of Jessie Field Shambaugh and O.H. Benson. Shambaugh, known as the mother of Iowa 4-H, started a youth club program in Page County in 1901. Benson is credited with creating the clover emblem for Iowa’s club program in 1907.
4-H scholarship winners will be recognized Aug. 22 at 3:30 p.m. More than 120 youth will be recognized with state 4-H scholarship awards. Ranging from 20 Pioneer Community College scholarships to a 4-H Alumni scholarship for youth attending a private Iowa college, many named memorial awards, 20 Hills Bank and Trust Company Leadership Grants (a two-year award of $1,000 per year) and a full tuition award for an Iowa State University Veterinary Medicine student, 4-H scholarships make the difference for many attending college, Greving said.
2009 4-H Hall of Fame award winners will be recognized Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Since 2002, each county in Iowa has had the opportunity to submit the name of an individual or couple who has shown outstanding service and dedication to the 4-H program for induction into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.
Join a special anniversary donor club by giving to the Iowa 4-H Foundation at various levels: Red Ribbon ($60+), Blue Ribbon ($160+), Reserve Champion ($360+) or Grand Champion ($600+). Information is online at www.iowa4hfoundation.org/news and also will be available at State Fair.
The Iowa 4-H Foundation has made numerous wishes come true since that first campfire gathering 60 years ago, said current president Dennis Goering. In addition to support for the Iowa 4-H Center, the foundation provides funds for new 4-H curriculum and programs, training for volunteers, and youth recognition and college scholarships. The foundation also raised money to build the Extension 4-H Youth Building on the Iowa State University campus. For the first time in its history, the 4-H Foundation is also directly funding 4-H program staff from its annual fundraising efforts.
“Given recent budget cuts to ISU Extension, in March 2009 the foundation voted to raise an additional $150,000 to help support 4-H youth development staff — the people who make 4-H happen across the state. The board agreed it was important to the future of the 4-H program to help ISU Extension deal with the cuts,” said Joe Leisz, the foundation’s executive director.
“In another great step toward the future, we’re excited that for the first time we have a million-dollar budget to help Iowa 4-H’ers,” Leisz continued. “We believe in ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development and the importance of building leadership, citizenship and communication skills in Iowa’s young people. It’s up to each of us to ensure that this great 4-H program, which has survived for over 100 years, remains for the next 100 years.”
ABOUT THE IOWA 4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM -- 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. One quarter of Iowa’s young people are involved in 4-H. In Iowa, 4-H Youth Development is headquartered at the Iowa State University campus in Ames. For more information about joining 4-H, contact your Iowa State University Extension county office at www.extension.iastate.edu/content/county-offices/ or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/4H.
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775,