The Cowley County 4-H Development Fund was created in 1995 as a local 4-H Foundation to assist local 4-H’ers as they take part in educational events and activities. The local foundation is a legal, not-for-profit, non-governmental, charitable organization to receive memberships and contributions. It supports local 4-H members and is funded from gifts and donations from 4-H supporters and memorial contributions.  All donations to the 4-H Development Fund are tax-deductible.

The fund provides scholarships to youth seeking post-secondary education. Leadership Development Grants are awarded to 4-H’ers who wish to attend county, state and national events.  

Leadership Development Grants have been awarded to members to help offset the expense of 4-H camp, Kansas Youth Leadership Forum, Citizenship Washington Focus, Kansas 4-H Ambassador Training, International 4-H Youth Exchange and Citizenship In Action. The Development Fund also helps to provide funding for additional 4-H Youth Development Educational Programs and awards.

Members who receive monetary grants from the 4-H Development Fund use the opportunity to gain leadership skills and share with their local community.  These opportunities often grow a member’s interest to continue to grow and learn more, resulting in greater returns for the community. 

One member, Hunter Mericle, shared with the committee the skills he gained through 4-H participation. “4-H has had a huge impact on my life, as it has provided me with many learning opportunities. 4-H has taught me many skills such as patience, diligence, and perseverance that will benefit me in other areas of life such as relationships and jobs.” 

A contribution tto he 4-H Development Fund is an investment in Cowley County youth.  Studies show 4-H members are more likely to contribute back to their communities as adults. For more information about the 4-H Development Fund, or to contribute, contact Kelsey Nordyke at the Cowley County Extension Office (620-221-5450).

Kelsey Nordyke is the 4-H Youth Development Agent at K-State Research and Extension, Cowley County. She can be reached at 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565.

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