NORMAL – Growing local foods, urban youth interested in agriculture financing and students studying agriculture at a junior college are the newest recipients of donations from the 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund through the IAA Foundation. 

In 2014, $118,500 from the fund will be distributed to 14 groups, including Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation, Northern Illinois University’s School for Local Food Planning and Technical Assistance Program, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences Ag Finance Pathway and the Joliet Junior College’s Department of Agriculture and Horticulture Sciences.

“Working with groups that serve farmers, children and consumers, who are growing and nurturing future leaders, fits in our mission,” said Roger Schrodt, 1st Farm Credit Services Board of Directors Vice Chairperson. “Farmers have a passion for planning for the future, planting and caring for plants and animals, tending them and helping them to grow. I commend all of these groups for their excellent work.”

The 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund through the IAA Foundation was created in 2010 to help promote and fund programs dedicated to agriculture education, youth and leadership. The association has provided $1.25 million to the fund.  This is the fourth year for distributions from the fund, and to date, $380,000 has been distributed.

All of groups receiving funds in 2014 were announced on Monday.  The additional groups and programs include: 

· 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

· Illinois Agri-Women: Women Changing the Face of Agriculture – for leadership development. 

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.

Representatives from 14 organizations received gifts from the IAA Foundation’s 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund. 

Pictured are (front row from left to right): Sandra Streed, Northern Illinois University; Rachel Hawk, Illinois FFA; Emily Newell, Illinois State University; 

Ruth Hambleton, Annie’s Project; Brenda Besse, AgrAbility Unlimited; and Angie Bernard, Illinois 4-H Foundation. 

(Back row from left to right) Roger Schrodt, 1st Farm Credit Services; Gabriel Muhammad, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences; 

Bob Rohrer; Cook County Farm Bureau; Jackie Jones, Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom;  Jessa Barnard, University of Illinois; 

Diana Ropp, Illinois Agri-Women; Andrew Baker, Western Illinois University; Don Norton, Illinois Ag Leadership Foundation; 

Bill Johnson, Joliet Junior College; and Susan Moore, IAA Foundation.