August 16, 2002 | By: Haven Miller

Kentucky’s Agricultural Development Board has established endowments totaling $4 million to benefit the state’s FFA and 4-H/Youth Development programs. The endowments are generated from tobacco settlement funds and will give $2 million to each organization.

The money will be invested and interest earnings will be used as seed money for new programs designed to help youth and families transition from dependence on tobacco production to other enterprises.

“These funds will be used to strengthen our many programs such as record keeping, money management and technical skills,” said Christi Marksbury, executive director of the Kentucky FFA Foundation. “Eventually we hope to offer mini-grants to tobacco-dependent FFA members interested in diversifying their supervised agricultural experience programs.”

For 4-H/Youth Development programs, innovative ideas outlined in proposals will be considered each year to receive all, or part, of available funds.

“Proposals can be initiated by Cooperative Extension personnel at the community, county or state level,” said Martha Welch, Extension associate for 4-H/Youth Development.“We view the changes in Kentucky agriculture as a family issue not just a producer issue.  Youth who had planned to go into tobacco production are having to look at other career options.”

Depending on interest rates, each endowment could produce as much as $100,000 per year.

“This is an investment in Kentucky’s future,” said John-Mark Hack, CEO of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board. “The FFA and 4-H endowments allow each program a perpetual funding source that will serve youth in Kentucky today and for years to come."


Martha Welch, 859-257-5961