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Community leaders partner with Farm Bureau to benefit neighbors, farm youth


Small towns are a source of great pride and innovation in Iowa; they are the reason for Iowa Farm Bureau Federation's commitment to community development, education, health care and agriculture. In late February, IFBF announced its support of excellent community projects that are dedicated to improving the lives of rural Iowans.

IFBF has awarded Community Enhancement Grants to organizations that have brought forward vital projects for their communities. "These organizations are the lifeblood of Iowa's cities, towns and rural communities, which is why we believe in supporting them. When they thrive, Iowans win," said IFBF Community Resources Director Barb Lykins.

One such community project will bring a new, lifesaving defibrillator to the Wadena-Tillyria First Responders. Another will bring a Retinal Imaging Scanner to Ida County Extension, to assist livestock farmers and the 4-H youth who exhibit livestock at the county fair. Each project has received a $500 grant from IFBF.

"We need grants to help us stay current with our technology and to meet new requirements," said Ida County Extension Youth Coordinator Susan Redenius. "Funding is being cut at the state level in almost all areas."

"We make our money through donations," added Wadena-Tillyria First Responders President Tim Corkery, who team serves a community of approximately 400. "We hold different fundraising dinners and luncheons, and we apply for grants."

Since the Community Enhancement Grant program's inception in August 2005, Farm Bureau has awarded 88 grants, totaling more than $90,000. These grants have served communities across the state.

The program was created to help strengthen Iowa's rural communities. Grants are awarded on a monthly basis to projects that fall within four key areas of IFBF's strategic direction: farmers and agriculture, community and rural development, youth and education and health and wellness. All winners at the state level have also received grants from their respective county Farm Bureaus. For more information about the Community Enhancement Grant program, or to receive an application, call your county Farm Bureau office.

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