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Wyoming State 4-H Foundation Gives $188,000 in Benefits to County 4-H Programs


December 12, 2012 — Wyoming county 4-H programs have received nearly $188,000 from the Wyoming State 4-H Foundation this past year.

The foundation also provided more than $23,000 in awards for state-held contests. The foundation is connected to the University of Wyoming through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and UW Extension.

“The 4-H program offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for young people in Wyoming,” says Steve Mack, Wyoming State 4-H Foundation director. “The more that youth are engaged and participate in those opportunities, the more likely that youth from their county 4-H program are receiving benefits from donations to the foundation.”

During the last fiscal year, the foundation supported youth programs including meat, wool, horse and livestock judging; the UW Showcase Showdown; shooting sports; and the state leadership team.

The Wyoming State 4-H Foundation is a nonprofit corporation and is the only official state organization sanctioned to support 4-H youth programs and education in the state. The foundation is funded by citizens and companies, according to Mack.

“4-H is funded as a partnership between government and the private sector,” says Johnathan Despain, state 4-H program coordinator. “UW Extension is the government side, while the state 4-H foundation is the private side. The state 4-H Foundation helps to raise funds for expenditures associated with delivery of educational opportunities.”

The foundation supports 4-H programs in all 23 counties and the Wind River Indian Reservation. Programs focus on four main areas: educational programming; scholarships; out-of-state trips and contests; and recognition and awards.

Financial support for 4-H county programs and their youth provide college scholarships, programming grants, awards and recognition, and out-of-state trips including Citizenship Washington Focus, Denver Roundup, National Conference and National Congress.

Federal funds cover employee salaries, overhead and costs for some programs, says Despain, but are not enough.

“The foundation provides the needed resources to fill in gaps of underfunding and for any new needs that occur -- which are ever-expanding,” he says. “Many opportunities would not be available to young people without the financial support of donors to the 4-H Foundation.”

Grants supported by the foundation include Workforce Prep, Youth in Governance, Career Development, Helen Miller, Shooting Sports, Sport Fishing, Community Pride and Small Animals.

The awards money also pays for plaques, silver trays, trophies, special gifts and cash awards.

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