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The Colorado 4-H Foundation provides positive youth development and education by raising and distributing funds in support of diverse Colorado 4-H programs.
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Colorado Corn

Colorado Corn Logo
Melissa Walter, Director of Market Development and Member Services for Colorado Corn, recently took time to share the organization’s mission and its perspective on the value and rewards of supporting our state’s 4-H youth through the Colorado 4-H Foundation.

What is Colorado Corn?

The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee manages the corn checkoff in Colorado, where we receive one penny per bushel of corn sold in the state. As per our market order, we are allowed to use those funds specifically for market development, research, and education on behalf of Colorado corn producers.

What is Colorado Corn’s history of supporting Colorado’s 4-H program?

The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee has given a grant every year since 2013.

How is Colorado Corn currently supporting the program?

The CCAC gives the Colorado 4-H Foundation a $5,000 grant, to use as they see fit.

Why is supporting Colorado’s 4-H youth important to Colorado Corn?

Our organization supports Colorado’s 4-H youth because we believe in giving young people every opportunity we can to help them learn about agriculture, and life skills in general. They are our future decision makers, and many of them are our future farmers, so we hope that our yearly grant helps open their eyes to what it means to work and make a life in agriculture.

How does the mission of Colorado Corn align with 4-H values?

In our mission, we encourage farmers to be good stewards of the land, and provide services and education to our communities.

What is the most rewarding part of supporting Colorado’s 4-H program?

The most rewarding part is knowing that our dollars are going to an organization that supports youth development, teaches life skills, and encourages youth to be involved with agriculture.

Were you involved in 4-H?

Yes, I like to say I was “raised” in 4-H for ten years of my youth. Being a 4-H and FFA member opened my life up to agriculture, and my love for the industry comes from the days, months, and years I spent learning how to raise livestock. Not to mention, I had to learn responsibility, communication, and decision-making at a much younger age than most. I give a lot of credit to 4-H for my desire to make my life in agriculture!

Colorado Farm Bureau

In a recent interview, Colorado Farm Bureau’s Jayde Van Cleave of shared his organization’s perspective about the value of supporting Colorado’s 4-H youth, and why it’s been a sponsor of the program for nearly two decades.

What is Colorado Farm Bureau’s history of supporting 4-H in Colorado?

We’ve been with the Colorado 4-H Program for about 15 years. We’ve supported the 4-H youth ambassadors so they could travel around the state and promote 4-H and now we are involved in supporting the State Leadership Conference.

Why is it important to your organization to support 4-H in Colorado?

We definitely value the program. We believe in investing in our future and we believe 4-H is part of that future investment. 4-H teaches responsibility and work ethic – I can’t highlight the importance of those qualities enough. They are the folks that end up making the best leaders.

Why is supporting 4-H a good fit for Colorado Farm Bureau?

Our grassroots, volunteer organization is involved with all of agriculture. Like 4-H, we start at the county level and do whatever we can do as an organization to help our members be successful. We’re a nonprofit whose aim to help people in agriculture thrive now and in the future, and hope that eventually these young leaders will turn to Farm Bureau and our industry. Agriculture is all around us and it great and awesome.

Were you involved in 4-H?

Yes, I was in the Douglas County 4-H program, in beef cattle and roping clubs. Many of our Colorado Farm Bureau members were also involved and still are today as adult volunteers.

Any parting thoughts?

We believe that 4-H has valuable tools beyond the school environment, especially with hands-on experiences. We just feel 4-H is a perfect starting place for kids to begin to learn leadership skills and we hope as they continue that thirst for leadership throughout their lives, they will turn to organizations like ours.

Poudre Valley REA Is A Bright Light in Colorado’s 4-H Community

Poudre Valley REAJessica Johnson, Community Relations Specialist at Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, recently took time to share the many valuable ways in which the electric cooperative has supported the Colorado 4-H Foundation for more than a decade—and why it continues to do so.

What is Poudre Valley REA?

Poudre Valley REA is a local, not-for-profit, electric cooperative. We provide more than 40,000 members in Larimer, Weld and Boulder counties with electricity. Our mission is providing safe, reliable, efficient energy solutions with exceptional service to our members.

What is PVREA’s history of supporting Colorado’s 4-H program?

We have supported the Colorado 4-H program through a variety of sponsorships—monetary donations, sponsoring and participating in golf tournaments and donating toward the production of the livestock manuals. We have also sponsored the Junior Livestock Sale at the Colorado State Fair for many years along with the other Colorado electric cooperatives.

How is PVREA currently supporting 4-H?

We again sponsored the Colorado Livestock Sale in Pueblo this year which was a great success. Our newest and most recent support for the 4-H program is a joint sponsorship along with other electric cooperatives in Colorado for the 2018 Western National Roundup program.

Why is it important to your organization to support Colorado’s 4-H youth?

Because we are a cooperative, we follow the Seven Cooperative Principles. One is Concern for Community. We care about our members in the communities we serve and want to support them, including our younger members by supporting programs like 4-H, our own scholarship program and sending students on two developmental trips. The “REA” in our name stands for Rural Electric Association. We were established in 1939 and at the time, all our service territory was rural land located outside of the major towns and cities in this Northern Colorado area. There has obviously been a ton of growth since 1939, much of which has been in our territory making some parts seem more urban, but we still serve much of the land that is rural that is used for agricultural purposes and farms and activities that align with 4-H. The youth that take part in 4-H are dedicated, have high work ethic and learn to work with others at a young age. The youth are the future and the qualities that these 4-H kids display are exactly the type of people we want to support.

How does the mission and vision of PVREA align with 4-H values?

We strive to go above and beyond for our member-owners and 4-H participants strive to reach their full potential. They learn to grow and work together and we have another co-op principle that lines right up with that—Cooperation Among Cooperatives. We pride ourselves in open communication and collaborating ideas and efforts with other Colorado co-ops as well as co-ops nationwide.

What is the most rewarding part of supporting our state’s 4-H program?

Knowing that our support is helping advance the development and success of local youth is a great reward. We know that behind each youth 4-H participant is their support system—their family and community, and if we can put our co-op principles to work by benefiting others and that support continues to trickle down the line, that’s about the best reward we could ask for.

Do PVREA employess have personal connections to 4-H?

Yes, many of the employees here at PVREA were involved with 4-H growing up. We have a great team here and it’s safe to say that some of the skills that are prevalent at our organization were picked up and held on to from a young age through programs like 4-H.

Cleon V. Kimberling, D.V.M.

For more than 60 years, Colorado 4-H youth have had a friend, mentor, and tremendous inspiration in Dr. Cleon Kimberling.

Affectionately known by most as “Dr. K,” Cleon’s life-long involvement with 4-H began as a young boy in western Nebraska. It was Colorado A&M and the pursuit of an Animal Science degree that drew him to Fort Collins in 1947. His graduation in 1951 opened the door to a job opportunity as the 4-H extension agent in Prowers County, following service in the Korean War.

After the war, Cleon entered CSU’s Veterinary School. He graduated in 1959 and launched a distinguished career specializing in sheep health that included additional higher education, assisted in the development of a rapid testing procedure which helped nearly eradicate a nationwide brucellosis problem in cattle, and the invention of the U.S.-patented K-R Spay instrument for cattle.

Cleon’s 40-year career at CSU as the state Extension Veterinarian afforded him the opportunity to work with 4-H kids in every corner of Colorado, as well as travel to an astounding number of countries across the globe, from Siberia to Africa to South America, where his expertise helped improve animal health in some of the poorest areas of the world.

“Life is all about service,” Cleon said, and noted that he’s always loved the guiding words of the 4-H oath. “4-H helps young people mature and lead productive lives.”

One of the many ways Cleon’s philosophy of serving others has been put into action is through the establishment of the Kimberling Endowed Scholarship for pre-veterinary students who have been involved in 4-H and exhibited an excellence in food animal production. Dozens of scholars have benefitted to date.

Cleon credits serious goal-setting with his success in life, motivating him at age 65 to embark on an awe-inspiring cycling hobby that’s taken him biking thousands of miles across, throughout and around the U.S.

Dr. K is a humbling example of the kind of deeply fulfilling life that can be created through passionate service to others, a constant drive to set and reach new goals, and a deep sense of gratitude. His mantra is one that individuals of any age would do well to adopt: “Every morning I get up, dress up, stand up and thank God for another day.”