ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, US — The CHS Foundation committed to a $225,000 donation to help continue the education of future ag leaders as the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic creates new challenges.

“Working with our university partners and 4-H to make a difference is how we live out the cooperative spirit,” said Nanci Lilja, president of the CHS Foundation. “The CHS Foundation is dedicated to developing ag leaders for life, especially during these challenging times.”

The foundation will distribute $5,000 to the student emergency funds at each of the CHS Foundation’s 25 university partners, for a total of $125,000. The funding will support students studying agriculture and provide them with essential resources to continue their education and assist with loss of income, financial support or stability, or lack of resources to effectively engage in studies remotely.

“This level of partnership and generosity will go a long way in supporting all students as they struggle with loss of jobs and stress of the current circumstances that are impacting their future,” said Hilarie Ehlert, director of Foundation Relations at Montana State University. “Our Student Emergency Fund has been providing students with funds for things such as groceries, rent and internet access so they can continue in their academic work.”

A total of $100,000 will be donated to the 4-H FOURWARD Fund, which helps youth and families navigate ways of learning with engaging solutions — both online and offline. As millions of young people are impacted by closings, funds will support state and local 4-H club efforts, as well as deliver mobile-friendly digital platforms and solutions to serve youth in rural and urban communities.

“Even as we face new obstacles, 4-H’s commitment to positive youth development is unwavering,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and chief executive officer of the National 4-H Council. “We are grateful to partners, like the CHS Foundation, who recognize in these uncertain times that the need to support all young people with educational resources, mentorship and a sense of belonging is critical.”

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