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CoBank Donates $2,500 To IllinoisS 4-H Foundation To Promote Youth Leadership, Stem Programs

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (March 27, 2017) — Illinois 4-H Foundation has received a donation of $2,500 from CoBank on behalf of Daniel T. Kelley, a member of the cooperative bank’s board of directors.

The foundation raises funds to supplement state and county 4-H programs that positively impact youth by preparing them to be effective leaders, contributing members of society, and excellent team members and valued employees.

CoBank is one of 22 partner organizations that provide continuing support to the Illinois 4-H Project Partners program, which focuses on leadership development, college preparedness and the 4-H STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program.

“We’re impacting youth at an age when they are deciding whether or not they like math and science, and we’re proud that we have partners like CoBank that invest in our youth and the future,” said Angie Barnard, executive director of the foundation. “In addition, our focus on leadership helps develop skills in our youth that enable them to be ready for careers and to be active community members.”

One specific area funded by the Project Partners program are the 4-H Tech Wizards, a small-group mentoring program that uses technology to help teach youth basic life, education and workforce skills. Donations also pay transportation costs for 4-H members who have earned the right to represent Illinois at national competitions, such as a robotics contest or a livestock judging contest. Funding also provides seed money for 4-H projects that deal with food access, including food education, planting local community gardens and helping with meal packaging, said Barnard.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation has raised funds for youth programs since 1954 and now serves 200,000 participants in 102 counties in the state.

“The youth who participate in 4-H are being prepared to meet the varying challenges of our ever-evolving world as they make significant contributions to their communities,” said Kelley, who is an Illinois 4-H Foundation board member. “CoBank and I are proud to continue to support the foundation and the important task of building a better future.”

Kelley is the owner and operator of Kelley Farms, a corn and soybean farming operation in Normal, Illinois. He is chair of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation and a director of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Nationwide Bank, and Midwest Grain, LLC, a grain merchandising company. He also serves on the board of Global Farmer Network.

The contribution is part of CoBank’s corporate citizenship program which, in 2016, provided more than $8.3 million in aid to charitable organizations throughout the country. As part of the program, CoBank allows its employees and board members to direct bank donations to their choice of non-profit organizations and programs, benefitting local communities where its employees and directors live and work.


About CoBank

CoBank is a $126 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore. For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's web site at