Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation is an organization started as a dream some 35 years ago. True agricultural visionaries saw the need to offer scholarships to local students studying agriculture. They awarded 2 scholarships in 1986. To date they have given away over $940,000 and will be close to going over $1,000,000 in total this year.
Another integral part of the Foundation is to promote Ag Literacy. Initially it was designed to help with classroom education relating to Agriculture. It has blossomed to one of the leading programs in the state. It now reaches over 1,000 Champaign County grade school students each month.
I joined the board of the organization in 2001 at the urging of the late Gary Grace. Gary thought it might be a good spot for me to help promote agriculture. The Atkins Group gave the first $1,000 in 2003 and has given a scholarship every year since then. I continued to serve on the board until 2018, serving as President from 2009-2012.
The most rewarding part of giving to this particular organization is to be able to watch the students as they progress through college and succeed in a career. So many of these students that I have met over the years are now working in an agricultural career (many in this area). Some of these students have even come full circle and now serve on the board in leadership positions. The Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation is an organization that deserves our support and has proven that they can be a conduit to introduce agriculture to students of all ages and foster many to a future career in the field. It has been an honor to be a part of the organization and to continue to support its mission.
Visit their website to find information and application forms for the 2020 scholarships.