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Donations Benefit Ag Education, Youth and Leadership

NORMAL, IL, Apr. 18, 2012 – The IAA Foundation has announced the 2012 recipients of charitable donations from the 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund.  A total of $85,000 has been distributed to 10 groups, which are dedicated to agriculture education, youth and leadership. 

The fund, established in 2010, ensures a long-term financial commitment from 1st Farm Credit Services to support programs dedicated to agriculture education, youth and leadership. This is the second year of donations from the fund, for a total of $160,000 donated to date. 

The following organizations received funds:

  • University of Illinois –   for education through the Department of Agriculture
  • Illinois State University –  for education through the Department of Agriculture
  • Western Illinois University  –  for education through the Department of Agriculture
  • Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom –  for enhancing student & teacher ag literacy
  • Illinois Ag Leadership Foundation –  for leadership development
  • Illinois FFA –  for education and leadership development
  • Illinois 4-H –  for education and leadership development
  • AgrAbility Unlimited –  for farm safety education and accessibility assistance
  • Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation – for engaging urban youth in ag education experiences
  • Annie’s Project - for empowering farm women to be better business partners through education networks 

The recipients were honored at a ceremony today with representatives from the IAA Foundation and 1st Farm Credit Services.  This is the first time a donation has been made to Annie’s Project from the fund. 

 “We are so pleased to be a part of continued support for these well deserving organizations,” said Susan Moore, director of the IAA Foundation.  “The contributions given today speak to the long-term commitment made by 1st Farm Credit Services to support agriculture and also serves as a great way to highlight the accomplishments of each group receiving donations from the Fund.” 

In December 2010, 1st Farm Credit Services established a Donor Advised Fund through the IAA Foundation with an initial investment of $ 1 million to be distributed for a number of years into the future.  The donation is the single largest contribution to the IAA Foundation and helped establish its largest Donor Advised Fund managed through Country Trust Bank. 

In 2011, the nine organization receiving funds touched more than two million lives and about 150,000 students, farmers, future leaders and educators directly benefitted from the gift. 

“Each of the recipients has an established history of providing programs to enhance agriculture education, youth and leadership,” said Steve Cowser, chairperson of the Board of Directors at 1st Farm Credit Services. “These groups are committed to making the agriculture industry thrive now and into the future.” 

The mission of the IAA Foundation is to fund education, research and charitable activities that benefit Illinois farm families and agriculture.  

1st Farm Credit Services leads the industry in agriculture loans, risk management products and various services such as crop insurance, loan and lease options, as well as agricultural real estate appraisals. The cooperative serves 42 counties in the northern half of Illinois.

Donor Fund Cutline: Representatives from 10 organizations received gifts from the IAA Foundation’s 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund. Pictured are (front row from left to right): Kara Watson, Illinois State University; Amie Burke, Illinois State University; Joyce Watson, Illinois Ag Leadership Foundation; Ruth Hambleton, Annie’s Project; Jackie Jones, Illinois Ag in the Classroom; and Debbie Ruff, Illinois Ag in the Classroom; (back row from left to right) Susan Moore, IAA Foundation; Bob Roher, Cook County Farm Bureau; Danny Terry, Western Illinois University; Chris Steppig, Illinois FFA; Steve Cowser, 1st Farm Credit Services Board of Directors; Jacob Meisner, Illinois FFA; Dr. Paul Ellinger, University of Illinois; Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation; and Brenda Besse, AgrAbility.

Karen Blatter
1st FCS

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