ORWELL, Ohio – The northeastern Ohio Farm Credit Services offices are launching a community challenge to raise awareness and funds for 4-H Camp Whitewood, which serves northeastern Ohio.
The agricultural cooperative lender is matching each dollar donated to the camp’s capital improvement campaign, up to a total $25,000 donation.
Waste not. The 226-acre camp, located near Windsor in southern Ashtabula County, is under an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency edict to replace its aging septic system. But raising the nearly $500,000 to fund the construction has been tough, according to John King, the camp’s executive director.
Over the course of several years, he’s pieced together grants and low interest loans and construction finally began Jan. 29.
But the campaign is still about $100,000 short.
Saw a need. Staff at the Farm Credit Service offices in Alliance, Orwell and Oberlin recognized the need and decided to issue a community challenge.
Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, which is headquartered in Louisville, Ky., gives back to local communities through its FCS Support for Agriculture stewardship program. The program targets funding to agricultural projects and educational efforts, with a priority to youth and young farmers.
Bill Zuga, vice president of financial services for Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, thought the camp’s situation was a perfect fit.
He pointed to the Farm Credit logo, which is called the biostar.
The leaves represent the Farm Credit system and the star represents light and direction, but it’s the roots that symbolize Farm Credit’s foundation in rural America and the cooperative system.
“They’re this close,” Zuga said. “If we can help push it over the edge, that’s great.”
Zuga and the staff also wanted to involve the community in helping the camp complete its project.
And the Farm Credit Camp Whitewood Community Challenge was born.
Issuing challenge. The Farm Credit staff is challenging individual community members and agribusinesses to step up and make additional donations to the camp, with Farm Credit matching those dollar for dollar. Farm Credit’s total contribution will be $25,000.
“This isn’t about who gave the most,” Zuga added, “it’s about making it happen.”
“We’re glad we’re in a position to help.”
Deadline: May 1. It is hoped the project, which is under way, will be completed by May 1, in time for the summer camping season. And so that’s the deadline for the community challenge. (See related box for information on how you can make a difference.)
The camp is used for outdoor education camping and band camps by several northeastern Ohio schools, as well as its 4-H camp base. It serves nine counties: Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Stark and Summit.
In all, more than 5,000 youth and adults visit the camp each year.
The facilities can also be rented by non-4-H and school groups.
About Farm Credit. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America is an agricultural cooperative lender serving more than 65,000 customers throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
With 84 offices and over 789 employees, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America is backed by the strength of $11 billion in loan assets.
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