Current enrollment in the 4-H program in Cherokee County is around 150 youth and growing. With unprecedented growth in the livestock project areas and fair entries, additional safe and adequate housing at the fairgrounds has become a challenge.
A core group of 4-H'ers, parents, leaders and alumni have taken this challenge to heart and have formed a 4-H Facilities Betterment Project committee and have set forth to raise money for improvements to the current fairgrounds to meet these growth needs.
The committee's goal is to construct a new building to create additional livestock housing space and continue renovations to the current cattle barn to allow all species of livestock to be on display during the entire fair.
This project will benefit current 4-H'ers as well as future 4-H'ers. The improvements will also allow for other opportunities including off-season livestock shows, hands-on livestock seminars, 4-H Shooting Sports practice area, and community and regional events.
The committee can't do this alone and is currently looking to the public for assistance with this task.
Donations are being solicited from businesses and individuals to partner with 4-H'ers' fundraising efforts.
With your help, it is their hope to begin the early phases of construction in 2010.
"How can I help?" you may be asking yourself. One of the fundraisers is going on right now.
Farmers can give the gift of grain. A Grain Bank has been set up with the area First Cooperative Association Elevators.
When you come in to dump your load, just let the attendant know how many bushels you would like to donate to the 4-H Facilities Betterment Project.
A self-employed farmer is actually better off donating grain than money to charitable organizations. By reducing self employment tax and increasing income tax savings, gifts of grain can save farmers as much as 49 percent of the donation amount.
For example, a donation of $1,000 could save an extra $490 by giving grain instead of cash.
What if you're not a farmer? There will be a lot of opportunities to give to this very important project.
Watch your bank statements for a special flyer and for other fundraisers throughout the year.
The following levels of support will be recognized: Supreme Champion - $5,000 and above; Grand Champion/Purple - $2,500-$4,999; Reserve Champion/Lavender - $1,000-$2,499; Blue Ribbon - $500-$999; Red Ribbon - $100-$499; and Green Ribbon - $99 and under.
If you would like more information, you can call the Cherokee County Extension Office at 225-6196 and someone will be happy to answer your questions or get you headed in the right direction.
If you are ready to write that check for your donation, the check can be made out to 4-H Facilities Betterment Project and mailed to P.O. Box 43, Cherokee, IA 51012.