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Representatives from 14 organizations received gifts from the IAA Foundation's 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund. Pictured are (front row from L to R): 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, L to R): 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.
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WIU School of Ag Receives Funds from 1st Farm Credit Services' IAA Foundation

April 23, 2014

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MACOMB, IL — The Western Illinois University School of Agriculture is among several educational and non-profit institutions in Illinois that will receive funding from the 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund through the IAA Foundation. All groups receiving funds were announced Monday (April 21). According to the IAA, the fund was created in 2010 to help promote and fund programs dedicated to agriculture education, youth and leadership. This year, $118,500 from the fund will be distributed to 14 groups.

School of Agriculture Interim Director Andrew Baker said the funds, which have been received by the WIU School of Ag for several years now, are used to assist in funding student leadership activities.

"We use the monies to support our students travel to, and participation in, conferences and events, such as the National Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization Conference, where they participate in leadership activities and competitions. This year, the conference was held in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and in 2013, the conference was held in Louisville, Kentucky," Baker noted. "As I said at the reception Monday, our slogan for the School of Agriculture is 'Cultivating Agricultural Leaders,' and 1st Farm Credit is one of many donors that powers our slogan. It would be difficult for us to provide these leadership opportunities without the financial assistance of our donors."

According to the IAA, the association has provided $1.25 million to the fund, and this is the fourth year for distributions from the fund. To date, $380,000 has been distributed.

Other groups receiving funds this year include:

  • Northern Illinois University School for Local Food Planning and Technical Assistance Program
  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences Ag Finance Pathway
  • Joliet Junior College's Department of Agriculture and Horticulture Sciences
  • University of Illinois (for education through the agriculture department)
  • Illinois State University (for education through the agriculture department)
  • Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (for enhancing student and 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)

"Reflecting on the work accomplished by these organizations in the past year only further reinforces our funding decisions for 2014," said Susan Moore, IAA Foundation Director. "Administering this fund on behalf of 1st Farm Credit truly brings together so much positive work in agriculture, and we are glad to be a part of this movement."

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 provides 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.

For more information, contact Baker at (309) 298-1080 or via email at For more information about 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund through the IAA Foundation, contact Karen Blatter at (309) 268-0254.

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