Mission for 2014A rare, multi-million dollar endowment effort aimed at helping Weld County, Colo., youth will enter 2014 with the same goal it had in 2013- even if the endeavor’s name is a little different. Looking to expand what’s already one of the largest and most successful programs in the state, Weld County 4-H officials at the start of 2013 set a goal to establish a $2 million endowment fund to hire additional 4-H staff.
During 2013, the endowment effort raised $350,000 with those dollars coming from private donors, businesses and other sources, and ranging in size from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand.At recent meetings, Weld County 4-H board members decided to rename the fund as the Jean Hoshiko Memorial Endowment. Throughout her life, Hoshiko, who died this summer at 79, was behind many volunteer and philanthropic efforts, which included – particularly 4-H. The $2 million would be used to hire an additional 4-H employee, hopefully sometime in late 2014 or early 2015, and keep that person on staff at the CSU Extension office who oversees local 4-H operations in Weld County Among the specific objectives with the money is to increase Weld’s 4-H youth enrollment by 10 % each of the next five years, and to develop a “farm-to-table” education program geared toward non-farm kids. Weld 4-H leaders also hope to develop an agricultural leadership program in collaboration with local industry partners. The average age of the U.S. farmer is about 60 years old, [so we] need to educate many of today’s disconnected-from-the-farm youth about food production [which] makes 4-H expansion a top priority. The Weld County 4-H club would like the expansion to benefit all youth, not just the ag kids. There is a need for growth…and as big and as great of a program they already have, there’s a huge amount of supporters of 4-H in the area who they believe will step up to help. Orr Land Company is a proud supporter of Weld County 4-H. We wish them the best of luck in this endeavor! Courtesy of Eric Brown via The Fence Post [Paraphrased]