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Kentucky Ag News

Kentucky 4-H camps receive $50,000 Farm Credit grant

Special to Kentucky Agricultural News

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Anyone whos ever been in 4-H knows the clubs motto is To make the best better. Recently, Farm Credit Mid-America stepped up to help make Kentuckys 4-H camps better with a $50,000 grant from its Community Giving Program. In addition, the agricultural financial services cooperative is offering to match gifts from other donors up to $25,000, which has the potential to grow the total impact of its grant to $100,000.

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Farm Credit has told us for the past couple of years that they wanted to be a significant part of helping us to renovate the facilities at our states 4-H camps, and with this commitment, theyre doing it, said Keith Rogers, executive director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation. Because of their commitment, we feel very comfortable in launching the four-year Phase II of the campaign for our rebuilding program.

While all of Kentuckys four 4-H campsWest Kentucky at Dawson Springs, North Central at Carlisle, J.M. Feltner at London, and Lake Cumberland at Nancyfeature excellent natural surroundings and resources, the cabins are sorely in need of replacement. Built in the 1950s and 60s, most have no bathrooms, requiring campers to walk anywhere from 50 to 400 feet to stand-alone bath houses. In addition, construction at that time was such that renovating would now cost more than building new cabins.

In Phase II of the Foundations Camp Improvement Campaign, the goal will be to replace all cabins with attractive, redesigned, standardized structures that will be more cost effective and user friendly. All cabins will have a front porch, bathrooms, and the capacity for 48 campers.

Additionally, they will be handicapped accessible and have wireless Internet capabilities. Replacing the cabins will improve the camping experience and allow the camps to be used more in the spring and fall for weekend specialty camping programs.

Rogers, a former Kentucky 4-Her who still bleeds green, said that Farm Credits gift, a combination of corporate and regional funds, will be applied where the need is most pressing. This year, that is at the J.M. Feltner Camp.

Farm Credits gift and matching funds will build half of one cabin, said Rogers. Theyve long been a tremendous supporter of Kentucky 4-H and its 228,000 members, including the 24,000 who annually attend our camps.

Farm Credit regional vice president Joel Oney is one of many Farm Credit employees who are former
4-Hers themselves and have had children in the program. He is keenly aware of the value of 4-H to the development of the states young people.

Were really excited to be a part of this, he said. We know how important 4-H is to the communities where we serve and live in this state. Anything we can do to help those communities develop the next generation of leaders, business folks, farmers, and residents is just part of our mission.