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Recently in the Grants Category

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation recently completed reviewing the Helping Hands grants and finalized their funding decisions. This year we had 67 applications! It was great to see so many wonderful applications from across the state. The large number of applications made our fund distribution committee's job very difficult since we had $36,000 to distribute this year and the total requests from applicants was over $90,000! Applicants were mailed award letters last week. The list of 2014 award winners will be available after April 1 on the Minnesota 4-H Foundation website at http://www.extension.umn.edu/youth/Support/ . Click on scholarships, grants and awards and then on the grant tab. Thank you to all of our applicants!

Cara Miller
Executive director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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More than $4,000 given by Tractor Supply Company to Minnesota 4-H county programs

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation is pleased to announce that 10 Minnesota counties have been awarded funds totaling $4,030 from the Fall 2013 Paper Clover Promotion through National 4-H. This promotion is held twice annually in partnership with Tractor Supply Company stores across the nation. During this promotion, shoppers at participating stores are asked to donate $1 or $5 to their county's 4-H program. Each contribution was honored by the display of the donor's name on a paper clover at their local store. The next TSC Paper Clover Promotion will be in the spring of 2014.

Please help us congratulate the following county recipients:

  • Blue Earth
  • Clay
  • Dakota
  • Isanti
  • Morrison
  • Nobles
  • Olmsted
  • Scott
  • Sherburne
  • Wright
For questions about the TSC Paper Clover Promotion, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins, County Development Liaison, at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation (erinkc@umn.edu / 612-624-7667).

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Are there 4-H youth in your community with a great idea that could use some funding? There's still time to apply for a 2014 Helping Hands Grant from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation!

The goal of the Helping Hands Grant is to fund worthy youth development programs or projects that young people want, adults are ready to support, and that represent an investment of time and energy together. Average grant awards are usually between $200 and $2,000. Multiple applicants from the same county are welcome and encouraged.

Applications are due to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation office by Feb. 1, 2014. Yes, that's only three weeks from now, so time is of the essence! Applications can be downloaded from the 4-H Foundation website or requested from Erin Kelly-Collins (erinkc@umn.edu).

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Each year the Minnesota 4-H Foundation awards approximately $30,000 to counties and clubs through the Helping Hands Grant program. Our goal is to fund worthy youth development programs and projects that young people want, adults are ready to support, and that represent an investment of shared time and energy.

Average grant awards are between $200 and $2,000. Multiple applicants from the same county are welcome and encouraged.

Applications are available on our website or by contacting our office. Completed applications are due to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation office by Feb. 1, 2014.

If you have any questions about the Helping Hands Grant program, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation (erinkc@umn.edu/612-624-7667).

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Minnesota CYFAR update

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The Extension Center for Youth Development Children, Youth and Families At Risk (CYFAR) team recently successfully completed a five-year sustainable communities project. The team established eight youth cohorts that were integrated into local communities, infused with technology to leverage learning, and were sustained through community partnerships and family involvement. The target audience was middle school aged youth living in low income households and their parents or guardians.

This five-year project took place in three locations -- Willmar, Winona, and St. Paul -- reaching a total of 323 youth and 185 parents and guardians. Three long-term goals steered our efforts:

  1. Youth will set long-term personal education goals in the context of higher education and careers.
  2. Youth will exhibit mastery in a topic area of their choice.
  3. Parents/guardians will be engaged with their children on setting and meeting educational goals.
Youth in each cohort identified long-term educational goals and plans that were shared at public capstone presentations. Parents/guardians participated in the program by participating in empowerment sessions and by working with their children at home.

The CYFAR team was comprised of Youth Development staff and community partners from across the state. The team's hard work, talent and commitment to the project goals were instrumental to the project's success.

Ann Walter and Carolyn Dingfelder led the development of three cohorts at the Winona Area Learning Center, Winona Middle School and Kids First/Winona Housing Development. The youth focused on scientific inquiry and leadership skills. The program at Winona Middle School continues to be carried out by a promise fellow and the Kids First program is sustained through a partnership with Winona State University.

Trish Sheehan and Krista Lautenschlager partnered with Willmar Community Education and Recreation and Willmar Middle School to develop three cohorts in Willmar. The program encouraged participants to use scientific processes and higher level thinking. Krista continues to coordinate these programs as part of her plan of work.

Jessica Russo, Erica Gates and Joyce Strand partnered with American Indian Magnet School (AIMS) and affordable housing unit, Emma's Place (both in St. Paul). The group at AIMS explored nature in the context of Ojibwe and Lakota cultures and raised public awareness of the Big Urban Woods. Youth at Emma's place focused on family development, science and performing arts. Programming at AIMS continues with the support of 21st Century Funding. The Youth Coordinator at Emma's Place is continuing programming, staying connecting to 4-H through trainings and event attendance.

Finally, the state team was led by Principal Investigator, Jennifer Skuza, CYFAR educator, Joanna Tzenis and CAREI evaluator Tim Sheldon.

Minnesota CYFAR team

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation is happy to announce the 2013 recipients of Helping Hands Grants. This year's grants, totaling over $25,000, were awarded to 4-H clubs from 24 Minnesota counties across the state.

The Helping Hands grant program makes funding available for youth to collaborate with adults on community service related projects that allow them to develop "21st Century Skills" including critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, information literacy, applying technology and personal initiative. Grants range between $200 and $2000, funding projects that often involve collaboration with local businesses, schools and non-profit organizations.

Examples of this year's award winners:

  • The New Prague Boosters 4-H Club is hosting a yearly dance and carnival for adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Dakota, Goodhue, and Washington counties are teaming up to provide a leadership camp for youth in the region. They are creating a new, higher quality program and curriculum to further increase youth leadership skills.
  • Busy Bees Vees 4-H Club in Traverse County is involving the community to make 25-30 quilts for surgical patients in Tanzania with a goal of intergenerational interaction.
  • Grant County 4-H is holding an all-day field trip for young students to learn about wildlife, the environment, the history of our prairies, and the importance of conservation and of being stewards of the land.
For a full list of this year's Helping Hands Grant Program recipients visit the Foundation website at www.4hfoundation.umn.edu. Applications for next year's grants are due Feb. 1, 2014. Please contact Erin Kelly-Collins for more information (erinkc@umn.edu / 612-624-7667).

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

We are pleased to announce the 2013 Minnesota 4-H Foundation's scholarships recipients. These 4-H youth and adults have been identified as outstanding in both academic and community leadership and we are proud to support each of them as they pursue their post-secondary educational goals.

Kern Scholarship

  • Libby Mills, Goodhue County
  • Alexandria Oldenburg, Blue Earth County
David & Valarie Pace Leadership Scholarship
  • Kelly Johnson, Chisago County
Ada & Helmouth Schroeder Scholarship
  • Emily Trout, Itasca County
Searles Family Scholarship for Olmsted County 4-H Youth
  • Abby Mallek
Andrea Ruesch Scholarship
  • Paige Bourne, Chippewa County
  • Jacob Johnson, Cottonwood County
  • Abby Resch, Cottonwood County
  • Adriane Rentschler, Jackson County
  • Amanda Philipp, Martin County
  • Jaden Carlson, Pipestone County
  • Carly Fritz, Pipestone County
  • Kyle Viland, Pipestone County
4-H Adult Scholarship: Workforce Re-Entry
  • Sherrie Long, Cottonwood County
The Minnesota 4-H Foundation awards over $21,000 annually to scholarship recipients through a competitive application process. For more information about scholarships available in support of Minnesota 4-H youth, please visit the scholarships, grants and awards section of our website.

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Corn Capital Innovations establishes 4-H scholarship endowment for Minnesota youth

Minnesota 4-H members wishing to pursue a career in agriculture now have additional assistance via the just-established CCI Innovation in Agriculture Scholarship.

The endowment, administered by the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, will provide scholarships to present or former Minnesota 4-H members entering their freshman year of college. This one-time $1,000 scholarship is to be used toward educational expenses at a post-secondary institution. Applicants must intend to pursue a degree in agriculture; with an emphasis on supporting students pursuing degrees in agronomy, soil science, horticulture, plant science, agricultural economics and agribusiness.

Corn Capital Innovations (CCI) was formed in Olivia, Minnesota, by Steve and Summer O'Neill in 2008. The family-owned business is an industry leader that helps crop producers develop innovative farm plans that integrate the four components of profitability: crop insurance, grain marketing, financial analysis, and yield building strategies.

Steve says, "We love living and working in Minnesota. We believe some of the best people and most progressive farmers in the entire world live and work here. It is a great place to grow up and raise a family, as well as, to start and grow a business. We are grateful to all of our customers, business associates, and members of the community for helping us with our endeavor." The O'Neill's and many CCI employees are proud 4-H alumni.

Minnesota youth who wish to apply for the scholarship are encouraged to download an application at www.4hfoundation.umn.edu or email the Minnesota 4-H Foundation brekk131@umn.edu for an application to be sent to you. Applications for the fall 2013 scholarship award are due Aug. 1, 2013.

Cara Miller

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation offers several scholarships for 4-H'ers pursuing post-secondary studies at accredited colleges and universities. Please encourage eligible youth in your county to visit the Foundation website for detailed information and applications. All applications are due to the Foundation office by Mon., April 15, 2013.

  • Kern Scholarship

    Maximum award amount: $1,500 annually for 4 years
    Available awards: 2

  • David E. Pace and Valerie Halverson Pace Leadership Scholarship
    Maximum award amount: $1,000
    Available awards: 1

  • Ada and Helmuth Schroeder Scholarship
    Maximum award amount: $1,000
    Available awards: 1

  • Searles Family Scholarship - Olmsted County only
    Maximum award amount: $250
    Available awards: 1
Questions can be directed to Erin Kelly-Collins, County Development Liaison, at erinkc@umn.edu or 612.624.7667.

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation offers several scholarships for 4-H'ers pursuing post-secondary studies at accredited colleges and universities. A brief listing of available scholarships is included in this announcement. Please encourage eligible youth in your county to visit the Foundation website for detailed information and applications. All applications (unless otherwise noted) are due to the Foundation office by Monday, April 15, 2013.

  • Kern Scholarship Maximum award amount: $1,500 annually for 4 years Available awards: 2 Renewable scholarships for 4-H'ers attending a college or university that is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Must apply prior to freshman year. Submit applications to the Foundation office.


  • David E. Pace and Valerie Halverson Pace Leadership Scholarship
    Maximum award amount: $1,000
    Available awards: 1
    A one-time scholarship for accepted freshman or continuing sophomores in any accredited college or university in the U.S. Submit applications to the Foundation office.

  • Ada and Helmuth Schroeder Scholarship
    Maximum award amount: $1,000
    Available awards: 1
    A one-time scholarship for students going into their freshman year at a Minnesota college. Submit applications to the Foundation office.

  • Searles Family Scholarship
    Maximum award amount: $250
    Available awards: 1
    A one-time scholarship supporting Olmsted County 4-H'ers entering their freshman year at a post-secondary institution. Submit applications to the Foundation office.

  • Andrea Ruesch Scholarship
    Maximum award amount: $1,000
    Available awards: 3
    A one-time scholarship for 4-H youth pursuing a post-secondary degree at an accredited college or university. Applicants must be from Pipestone, Rock, Murray, Cottonwood, Watonwan, Nobles, Jackson, Martin or Brown counties. Please contact the Nicollet County program coordinator for applications.

  • Ed Schultz Scholarship
    Maximum award amount: $1,000
    Available awards: 3
    A one-time scholarship supporting Nicollet and Le Sueur county 4-H youth pursuing post-secondary studies at an accredited college or university. Please contact the Le Sueur county program coordinator for applications.
This information was also made available in printed form to all 4-H program coordinators at YOUth & U. Questions can be directed to Erin Kelly-Collins at erinkc@umn.edu or 612-624-7667.

Related Links:
Foundation website (scholarships page): http://www1.extension.umn.edu/youth/support/scholarships/

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Minnesota 4-H received $82,000 this year to continue its 4-H National Mentoring Program in St. Paul and the Fond du Lac reservation. Jessica Russo, Becky Meyer and Susan Beaulieu are the co-PI's and this is the third year for this funding in Minnesota.

The 4-H National Mentoring Program is recognized for implementing effective mentoring strategies with goals of improving family relationships, increasing social competencies, increasing school attendance, reducing juvenile delinquency, youth unemployment, and school failure while incorporating core principles of positive youth development to improve the well-being of at-risk youth ages 8-17, especially underserved populations of Latino, African American, and children of incarcerated parents.

The funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supports these initiatives that assist in the development and maturity of community programs providing mentoring services to high-risk populations under the 4-H National Mentoring Program. The goal is to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problems and high-risk behaviors. The program objective is to provide direct one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, or peer-mentoring services to under-served youth populations.

Identified objectives are:

  • Improved outcomes for at-risk youth;
  • Improved mentoring program administration; and
  • Improved organizational capacity.
In St. Paul, Jessica Russo manages two programs, Kid Power, which is a group of 4th - 8th grade kids focused on digital media, and the McDonough 4-H Club, which is located at McDonough housing. Youth and mentors meet weekly using a group mentoring model (ratio of 4 youth to 1 adult) to explore STEM, engage in service learning, and develop goals and leadership skills for overcoming barriers to higher education. Trips to campus, leader retreats, fairs, and businesses help connect and apply learning and establish long-term commitment. Family empowerment sessions engage families with youth educational goals.

At the Fond du Lac Reservation, Becky Meyer and Susan Beaulieu manage the matching of youth and mentors based on career interest. The participants take part in monthly group mentoring sessions focused on gardening, archery and cooking, and co-develop field trips to facilitate deeper career exploration. Youth also participate in weekly 4-H club programming and monthly family night out events. Facilitated by 4-H staff, Brookston Center staff, and other community partners, these events are co-developed with youth.

Jessica Pierson Russo

Assistant Extension professor

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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Minnesota 4-H Foundation welcomes new staff!

Brad Starbuck joined the Minnesota 4-H Foundation in November 2012 as a regional development officer to raise gifts and contributions that support 4-H youth development programs in southwest Minnesota. He grew up as a 4-H'er in Missouri. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Brad spent seven years as director of marketing and enrollment development at Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he oversaw student recruitment, community outreach and pre-college programming to encourage kids to explore math and science careers. He has a B.S. in agribusiness management from the University of Missouri. Brad works from the Willmar Regional Extension Office, and can be contacted at bstarbuc@umn.edu or 320-441-9499.

Erin Kelly-Collins joined the Minnesota 4-H Foundation in November 2012 as the county development liaison and alumni engagement coordinator. She brings expertise in building and executing alumni engagement plans for nonprofit organizations as well as extensive experience in program and staff development. In addition to receiving her B.A. in Education from Bethel University, she has pursued studies in Spanish and community development in California, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. If you have questions about county development, including fund requests, scholarships and grants, please contact Erin at erinkc@umn.edu or 612-624-7667.

Wan Tansatit began a shared position for Extension Development and the Minnesota 4-H Foundation as principal office and administrative specialist on January 7. She most recently worked as an administrative assistant at the foundation and alumni relations office at St. Paul College in St. Paul, and prior to that as an administrative assistant for the dean and faculty members in the business, computer careers and communications programs at St. Paul College. Wan is a graduate of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and Western Michigan University. Wan is located in 9 Coffey Hall on the St. Paul campus, and can be contacted at wtansati@umn.edu or 612-624-7971.

Please contact Brad, Erin or Wan directly to help us welcome them to 4-H and the Minnesota 4-H Foundation team!

Cara Miller

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Helping Hands Grant application deadline: Feb. 1

The goal of the Helping Hands Grant is to fund youth development programs or projects that young people want, adults are ready to support, and that represent an investment of time and energy together. Grant application projects could be focused on (but not limited to): training of youth and adults, expanding 4-H to youth and adults, and promoting diversity.

4-H programs aimed at youth and/or adults who work with youth are eligible. Average grant awards are usually between $200 and $2,000.

Completed applications for this year's grant awards are due to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation office by Feb. 1, 2013. Applications can be found on our website (http://www1.extension.umn.edu/youth/support/scholarships/Helping-Hands-grants.html) or by requesting them from Erin Kelly-Collins, county development liaison for the Minnesota 4-H Foundation at erinkc@umn.edu.

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Minnesota 4-H counties receive Tractor Supply Company Paper Clover award funds

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation is pleased to announce that 10 Minnesota counties have been awarded funds totaling $2,476.50 from the Fall 2012 Paper Clover Promotion through National 4-H. This promotion is held twice annually in partnership with Tractor Supply Company stores across the nation. During this promotion, shoppers at participating stores are asked to donate $1 or more to their county's 4-H program. Each contribution was honored by the display of the donor's name on a paper clover at their local store. The next Paper Clover Promotion will be in the spring of 2013.

Please help us congratulate the following county recipients:

  • Blue Earth
  • Clay
  • Dakota
  • Isanti
  • Morrison
  • Nobles
  • Olmsted
  • Scott
  • Sherburne
  • Wright
Erin Kelly-Collins
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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Communicate. Lead. Succeed award applications due Nov. 1

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation Communicate. Lead. Succeed. award application is now on the 4-H Foundation's homepage and ready for youth to complete! Applicants can win up to $50 depending on their age and the quality of their application. This is a real opportunity for youth to highlight their experiences using their communications skills learned through 4-H activities. Please read the application materials carefully and submit a completed application by Nov. 1 in order to be eligible for the award. Awards will be distributed by Jan. 1. The Minnesota 4-H Foundation thanks Best Buy and the Minnesota Corn Growers for their support of these awards.

Cara Miller

Executive director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation

I am pleased to announce that the Extension Center for Youth Development has been awarded $150,000 in Howland Endowment funds to support a three year project aimed at improving the quality of the Minnesota 4-H Youth Development Program.

The project will include an applied research study on the roles young people play in addressing and improving the quality of youth programs. The project will build on the Minnesota 4-H study on program quality assessment, conducted in 2009-10 and will examine the impact young people in key leadership roles as quality assessors, implementers, coaches, and evaluators have on program improvement, as well as how adults can effectively support and work with youth in program quality improvement efforts.

Project outcomes will be shared via public symposiums, research papers and briefs, and presentations to key state and national youth development stakeholders.

YD Quality team members leading this work are Brenda Shafer, Deborah Moore, Sam Grant, Becky Harrington, Jessica Jerney, Linda Houglum, Ellie McCann, and Margo Hermann.

Background

Since 2005, research has shown that program quality is a required factor in positively affecting the learning and development of young people and that the levels of quality in programs are broadly insufficient. For youth programs, staff and volunteer turnover, limited resources, ever-changing funding environments, and lack of evaluation expertise all bring challenges to improving program quality. The Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) national study finds that improving quality requires training, observational data, planning with the data, and coaching staff for improvement.

Currently, the most critical human resource in youth programs, the young people themselves, have not been considered as a focal point for the solution. Extension Youth Development believes very strongly that youth engagement is an important goal in youth development programs. Engagement is also a key component of a quality youth development program, and the Youth Program Quality Assessment lists engagement as a key indicator.

In a youth-led evaluation, youth play a leading role in setting research questions, collecting data, and analyzing. Youth can and should play a key role in program improvement efforts. The Howland Endowment funds will be used to develop and study youth roles in measuring impact on program quality and on the youth themselves.

Extension Youth Development has worked closely with the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality to build an assessment-driven quality improvement system across Minnesota. The Weikart Center developed the research-based YPQI to help youth programs set meaningful improvement goals based on data to new practices and create powerful developmental environments for youth using the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA), a validated observational assessment tool that measures staff performance at the point of service.

Youth Development recently develop an adapted version of the YPQA for use in 4-H settings and is currently field testing the tool as a part of a research study, as well as the use of innovative data collection methodologies, including use of 4-H youth and adult volunteers for assessing and improving youth program quality.

Using the Weikart Center's Youth Program Quality Framework, a cross role team of Educators and state faculty and 4-H Program Leadership have been working to develop a model for Youth Program Quality Improvement that will guide the collective work of the Center. In March of 2012, a model and milestones were developed to guide our efforts to improve the 4-H program and contribute to the larger field of youth development, locally and nationally, around this important work.

Dorothy M. Freeman

Associate dean

The RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies @ the SRDC, in partnership with USDA Economic Research Service and the Regional Rural Development Centers, has released its 2012 request for proposals for both its Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program and its regular Food Assistance and Nutrition Challenges in Rural America Research Grant Program.

In its second year, the Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program supports research in the United States by graduate students pursuing doctoral research in areas that closely align with the priorities of the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies. Students currently enrolled in a Ph.D program from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education who have reached the "All But Dissertation" stage are eligible to apply. Proposals must be postmarked by May 18.

The Food Assistance and Nutrition Challenges in Rural America Grant Program seeks to invest in innovative research that explores the social science-based dimensions of the food and nutrition issues impacting residents or communities in rural America. The program is especially interested in proposals that focus on Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, and other racial/ethnic minorities, as well as children and low-wealth individuals/households. Proposals must be postmarked by May 4.

For full information on these opportunities, please visit http://srdc.msstate.edu/ridge/grants/.

At the Minnesota Idea Open, we help turn great ideas into a reality. Enter the Idea Open Challenge III: Working Together Across Cultures and Faiths, and you could receive a $15,000 grant to transform your inspiration into action. AND the individuals who submit the winning ideas receive $500 for their efforts!

So shift your thinking into high gear and get ready to answer this year's Challenge question: What is your best idea to build bonds and work together across cultures and faiths in your community? Need some inspiration? Watch our video.

We open for entries starting Tues., Feb. 28, 2012. Stay tuned at MNIdeaOpen.org.

As part of its commitment to the sugarbeet industry, Syngenta will offer five $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors involved in the sugarbeet-growing industry or who participate in 4-H or FFA. Applicants must attend school or reside in a sugarbeet growing state. The application deadline is Aug. 31, 2011.

For more information and application materials, please visit:
www.SyngentaSugarbeetScholarship.com

Syngenta invests in agriculture education through a variety of scholarships, internships and mentorship opportunities.

Learn about additional Syngenta scholarships here:
www.syngenta-us.com/Scholarships/default.aspx

Minnesotans have good ideas--it's time someone listened. The Idea Open brings everyday Minnesotans together to help solve our state's most critical issues. This year the Idea Open is looking for answers to the question "How would you use $15,000 to help your community become aware of and address water issues in Minnesota?"

Starting June 21, people from all over Minnesota will be able to submit ideas to the Challenge. Ideas for addressing water issues in Minnesota will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and three finalists will be put to a public online vote in August 2011. The person whose idea garners the most votes will receive $500, along with $15,000 to make that idea become a reality.

Check out www.MNIdeaOpen.org to learn more, sign up for updates and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Minnesotans have good ideas--it's time someone listened. The Idea Open brings everyday Minnesotans together to help solve our state's most critical issues. This year the Idea Open is looking for answers to the question "How would you use $15,000 to help your community become aware of and address water issues in Minnesota?"

Starting June 21, people from all over Minnesota will be able to submit ideas to the Challenge. Ideas for addressing water issues in Minnesota will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and three finalists will be put to a public online vote in August 2011. The person whose idea garners the most votes will receive $500, along with $15,000 to make that idea become a reality.

Check out www.MNIdeaOpen.org to learn more, sign up for updates and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

(After next week, go here for updated FAQ information about Challenge II: http://www.mnideaopen.org/challenge1 )

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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Seven Minnesota 4-H programs have been selected as winners in the America's Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM program, which gives farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations. The Monsanto Fund sponsors the program, and winning farmers designate a local nonprofit organization to benefit from the donations.  In more than 1,200 eligible counties, farmers won $2,500 for their favorite community non-profit.

Funds were received on behalf of the counties by the Minnesota 4-H Foundation as a designated 501c3, which was required to accept the funds.  Each county has been able to decide locally how they'll make use of the full $2,500.  Congratulations to all the winners, including the farmers below who donated their funds to their local 4-H programs!

  • Chisago County 4-H - John Sandberg
  • Mower County 4-H - Virginia Bissen
  • Pope County 4-H - Ken Weisel
  • Sherburne County 4-H - Mike Hayes
  • Clontarf Haymakers 4-H Club (Swift County) - Tiffany Kobbermann
  • Becker County 4-H - Okeson Farms
  • Pennington County 4-H - Lowell Swanson


Cara Miller
Executive Director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation

SPARK grant-finder tool

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A passion for physical activity and fighting childhood obesity can go a long way, but sometimes it takes more than desire to put a plan into action, it takes money. That's why The SPARK Programs created their Grant-Finder Tool; to "show you where the money is!" for physical education, after-school, early childhood and coordinated school health programs.

This searchable grant finder is updated every week:
http://www.sparkpe.org/grants/grantfunding-resources/

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