Endowment Honors Loren Kruse, 4-H Volunteers

AMES, Iowa – The Meredith Corporation and Edwin T. Meredith Foundations are honoring Successful Farming Editor in Chief Loren Kruse with a $25,000 donation to the Iowa 4-H Foundation. The donation establishes an endowment honoring outstanding 4-H volunteers for their leadership, the Iowa 4-H Foundation announced today.

Loren KruseThe Successful Farming/Loren Kruse Outstanding 4-H Leader Award will be given annually to one 4-H volunteer leader, nominated by a 4-H’er or group of 4-H’ers. The annual $1,000 award acknowledges 4-H volunteer leaders who have inspired 4-H’ers to reach potentials far beyond what they could achieve without guidance and encouragement from caring adult volunteers. The award is permanently endowed by the Meredith Corporation Foundation and Edwin T. Meredith Foundations.

Kruse, who retired from Successful Farming after a 36-year career, is a long-time supporter of Iowa 4-H, the youth development program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and a past president of the Iowa 4-H Foundation board of directors.

“When Loren served on the Iowa 4-H Foundation board, he spoke many times throughout the state. When representing the magazine, he spoke to groups across the country. His speeches often included a story about the value of his 4-H club leader who believed in him and encouraged him,” said Albert Grunenwald, chief operating officer for the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

Grunenwald shared a letter Kruse addressed to Iowa 4-H supporters several years ago. Kruse wrote, “I think back to my bumbling early attempts as a 10-year-old speaker. I remember those 4-H leaders who encouraged me not to give up, but to keep working and practicing, and to find out how good I could really be. I will always be grateful to the dedicated volunteer leaders and extension professionals who lead America’s 4-H programs. These people through 4-H made a difference in my life. They taught me life skills I use every day.”

Each annual recipient of the Successful Farming/Loren Kruse Outstanding 4-H Leader Award will have five options for use of the funds:

  • Use the funds to cover travel, registration and hotel costs for attending a volunteer 4-H leaders’ forum for continued inspiration.
  • Donate to the volunteer’s 4-H club to fund a specific project.
  • Donate to the volunteer’s county 4-H endowment.
  • Provide a scholarship to a 4-H’er from the volunteer’s county.
  • Donate to the Iowa 4-H Foundation in the volunteer’s name.

The first Successful Farming/Loren Kruse Outstanding 4-H Leader Award will be presented next summer at the 2013 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, Grunenwald said. Individual 4-H’ers and 4-H clubs will have an opportunity to nominate a current or alumni leader by Feb. 1, 2013, coinciding with other state 4-H recognition and award deadlines.

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About Meredith Corporation

Meredith Corporation is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. Meredith features multiple well-known national brands – including Successful Farming, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Fitness, More, American Baby, FamilyFun and EveryDay with Rachael Ray – along with local television brands in fast-growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, health and wellness and self-development. Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including print, television, online, mobile, tablets and video – to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.

Additionally, Meredith uses its many assets to create powerful custom marketing solutions for many of the nation's top brands and companies. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing has significantly added to its capabilities in recent years through the acquisition of cutting-edge companies in digital, mobile, social, healthcare, database and international marketing.  Most recently, Meredith made a strategic investment in London-based Iris Worldwide, a leader in experiential marketing.

A hallmark of Meredith's business model and financial profile is its ability to consistently generate substantial free cash flow by leveraging the strength of its multi-platform portfolio. Meredith is committed to increasing Total Shareholder Return through dividend payments, share repurchases and strategic business investments. Meredith has paid a dividend for 64 straight years and increased its dividend for 18 consecutive years. On Oct. 25, 2011, Meredith announced a 50 percent increase in its annual dividend to $1.53 per share.

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