Stan Johnson, ISU Extension, (515) 294-6192
Aaron Putze, Farm Bureau (515) 225-5414
Tom Mitchell, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-4607
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-4917


Ames, Iowa -- The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation has made a gift of $1 million toward a new $3.5 million building for Iowa State University’s 4-H Youth and Extension program. The gift was announced Oct. 30 during a special halftime recognition of Iowa 4-H’ers at the ISU/Texas football game.

"The partnership between Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Iowa State goes back for generations. Their leadership support continues that tradition of helping the citizens of Iowa while building a stronger future for Iowa youth," said ISU President Martin Jischke.

"In tough agricultural times like those today, it’s important for us to encourage positive programs that will support our rural youth and interest them in production agriculture and other careers in agriculture," said Ed Wiederstein, president, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. "We also feel that now is the time for the Farm Bureau to show leadership in supporting a project that will make a difference in agriculture for years in the future."

The building is projected to cost $3.5 million. Iowa State has pledged $2 million toward the building, and the remainder is being contributed through private gifts to the ISU Foundation's Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best. The goal is to complete the needed funding by June 30, 2000.

The 24,000-square-foot building will house ISU Extension Communications, Iowa 4-H Youth Development, IDEA (National Extension and Research Information and Development Office), Iowa 4-H Foundation and other Extension employees. There will be a sound studio and video studio for the communications staff. The building also will have welcoming center and interactive display areas.

"This new facility will launch Iowa State’s Extension 4-H Youth Program into the 21st century," said Stan Johnson, vice provost for extension. "It will become a gateway to Extension at ISU, a welcoming place for Iowa youth and their families, the home of the ISU Extension 4-H Youth Program, and a facility to consolidate the ISU Extension Communications staff."

Extension and 4-H programs serve a growing number of rural and urban Iowans. About 120,000 Iowa youth are now in 4-H. In a number of Iowa counties, 4-H participants include more than 60 percent of those eligible in grades kindergarten through twelfth. Statewide, about one in five eligible youth participate.

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