INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., awarded more than $440,000 in cooperative education grants to projects that will help students learn about the cooperative business model and what makes cooperatives unique.
“October is co-op month to raise awareness about cooperatives; what better time to celebrate how the CHS Foundation has supported the development of cooperative education projects for more than 20 years?” said Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation.
In 2018, more than 20 grants were awarded to 15 organizations supporting next-generation-focused projects. There was a new emphasis on projects that reach the next generation of cooperative leaders using fresh, innovative concepts and incorporate new technology. As a result, the CHS Foundation partnered with the National Association of Agriculture Educators on a new initiative My Local Cooperative. The initiative puts agriculture teachers in the driver’s seat, helping teach students about cooperatives through a series of testimonials, videos and virtual fieldtrips.
“Cooperatives were founded on the principles of education and training,” Lilja said. “We are proud to demonstrate our commitment to the cooperative system by supporting projects that engage youth.”
The CHS Foundation supported cooperative camps in conjunction with National Farmers Union and seven state farmers unions. Additional cooperative education projects were supported with long-term partners such as the Association of Cooperative Educators, Cooperative Development Foundation, Cooperative Network and the Ralph K. Morris Foundation.
“Most kids haven’t grown up as close to cooperatives as their dads or grandads,” Lilja said. “The cooperative system has a rich history and a unique story to tell. The CHS Foundation will continue to support projects that demonstrate that value.”
The CHS Foundation is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with its partners, the foundation is working to create innovation and drive quality in agriculture education, cultivating programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture.