June 2002 // Volume 40 // Number 3 // Tools of the Trade // 3TOT5
The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation: A Model for Developing External Funding for Youth Programs
The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation is a remarkable success story that can serve as a model for other states to use to develop external funding for youth programs. This foundation has been described as the greatest thing to happen to the dairy youth program in North Carolina. It continues to grow and ensures that funding will be available for the dairy youth program in the future. The article describes how this foundation was formed and how it operates to provide significant funding support for the dairy youth program in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation was established on March 2, 1994 to provide external funding to improve educational opportunities and activities for youth and to promote our dairy industry. This foundation has been described as the greatest thing to happen to the dairy youth program in North Carolina. The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation continues to grow and is a remarkable success story ensuring that external funding will be available for our dairy youth program for years to come.
Over the years, we have had a very active and successful 4-H dairy youth program in North Carolina. Many of our dairy farmers and leaders in the state participated in this program as youth, and they realize its value. Historically, primary funding for the 4-H dairy youth program was on a year-by-year basis, with most of the funds provided by the Department of Animal Science at NC State University, the North Carolina Purebred Dairy Cattle Association (PDCA), and some industry support. By the early 1990's, it became apparent that in order to expand the dairy youth program, additional sources of financial support would need to be identified.
In 1993, the dairy youth subcommittee of the North Carolina PDCA decided that in order to increase the funding base and further expand the dairy youth program, a dairy youth foundation should be formed. A steering committee of dairy farmers, dairy industry representatives, and Extension personnel met in 1993 and early 1994 to lay the groundwork for the new North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation. Detailed by-laws were written, and the following mission statement was drafted:
"The mission of the North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation is to develop and provide broad-based financial support to enhance and expand North Carolina Dairy Youth Programs conducted via state, district, county, and local activities."
The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation (NCDYF) operates under the auspices of the North Carolina Dairy Foundation, Inc., which is a non-profit 501-(C-3) corporation. Contributions are placed in a special NCDYF Endowment Account created in the North Carolina Dairy Foundation, Inc. The interest income, but not the principal, from this endowment is used to provide funding for dairy youth events and activities. In accordance with the by-laws, none of this funding is to be used for administration or salary support.
The management of the NCDYF is vested in a 24-member Board of Directors elected for 3-year terms and two ex-officio members. Members of the board include dairy farmers, dairy industry representatives, Extension agents, and an FFA representative. The two ex-officio members are faculty in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University who serve as non-voting, non-rotating, and non-office holding members. One of the ex-officio members is the State Extension Dairy Specialist at North Carolina State University responsible for the 4-H dairy youth program, who submits an annual budget to the Board of Directors based on available funds. He recommends the dairy youth events and activities for the board to consider funding and prepares and submits an annual report on the use and expenditure of these funds.
Fund-Raising Activities and Events
A successful kickoff fund-raising event to raise startup funds was held on June 25, 1994. Seventy quality dairy cattle consigned by North Carolina dairy farmers and more than 400 pieces of merchandise were sold at auction, raising more than $76,000. Generous contributions from the North Carolina Jersey Breeders Association and other individuals and businesses greatly increased the total amount raised in the first phase for the endowment.
In addition to the generous financial support that has been contributed by many individuals, businesses, and organizations, the following activities and events raise several thousand dollars for the North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation each year:
- Annual Auction at the North Carolina Dairy Conference
- Annual North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation Golf Tournament
- Dairy Farmer and Milk Processor Voluntary One Cent Checkoff for all Milk Shipped in June
As of February 2002, there was more than $281,000 in the North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation Endowment and Income Accounts. In addition, more than $94,000 from the North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation has been used to support various activities in the 4-H and FFA dairy youth programs from 1995 through 2001. The Board of Directors recently approved a budget of $26,325 to support North Carolina dairy youth program activities in 2002.
Funding Support for Many Dairy Youth Activities and Events
The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation currently provides funding for many activities and events including:
- State 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Program (for costs of the state contest; state team training sessions, contest entry fees, and team travel expenses to regional and national contests;
- State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Program (for costs of the state contest; contest entry fees; and team travel expenses to the national contest);
- National 4-H Dairy Youth Conference (registration fees and travel expenses for youth participants);
- Southeastern U.S. Dairy Youth Retreat (partial expenses for North Carolina youth who attend the retreat and also partial program expenses when the retreat is held in North Carolina);
- Fitting and Showmanship Awards (and other expenses at our five District Junior Dairy Shows);
- Dairy Adult Volunteer Training sessions;
- 4-H Dairy Cumulative Records (recognition of winners);
- FFA Dairy Judging Career Development Event;
- FFA Dairy Production Proficiency - Entrepreneurship and Placement Award;
- Dairy Foods Career Development Event;
- Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity; and
- Dairy Scholarship.
The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation: A Remarkable Success Story
The North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation is a remarkable success story that can serve as a model for other states to use in the development of external funding for youth programs. It continues to grow and ensures that funding will be available for our dairy youth program in the future. If your state is interested in forming a dairy youth foundation and you would like a copy of our by-laws or additional information, please contact the author at (919) 515-7592 or at the e-mail address above.