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October 21, 2004   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
October 21, 2004

From left, front row, Montgomery County 4-H Club members Abby Whittington, Mitchell Henry and Amber Whittington were on hand for the check presentation made by Alfa President Jerry Newby, back row, right, to Jack Odle, chairman of the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation Board of directors.
Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation have provided $250,000 to Alabama 4-H to support leadership and environmental educational programs taught to the state's young people.

The insurance company's gift will ensure that all Alabama's school children will learn about environmental issues through programs taught by 4-H to children and school teachers, said Gaines Smith, interim director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which administers 4-H.

"Alfa and 4-H have been colleagues and partners for many, many generations and we appreciate Alfa's support of 4-H through their recent gift," Smith said. "4-H and Alfa are a strong combination, and we are grateful they remain committed partners with us."

"Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation are proud to support 4-Hers as they learn by doing," said Alfa President Jerry A. Newby. "For almost 100 years, 4-H has been helping Alabama's young people develop skills and leadership abilities they can use throughout their lives. This gift is our way of helping 4-H fulfill its motto: "To Make the Best Better'."

"Alfa realizes the difference programs taught by 4-H have on the lives of our youngsters, who grow up to become our state's leaders and better informed citizens," said Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc. Chairman Jack Odle, editor and vice president of Progressive Farmer magazine. "Alfa has provided a most generous gift so that, together, we can help the children of Alabama."

Alabama 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the state, with nearly 180,000 children participating in clubs, events and programs. 4-H'ers represent a broad spectrum: 64 percent are Caucasian and 36 percent are minorities; an equal number of boys and girls participate; and kids come from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Alabama 4-H is the state's oldest youth development organization, with programs beginning as early as 1906. 4-H provides programs in eight crucial areas:
• Citizenship and Civic Education
• Communicative and Expressive Arts
• Environmental Education and Natural Resources
• Family and Consumer Science
• Healthy Lifestyle Education
• Personal Development and Leadership
• Plant and Animal Sciences
• Science and Technology

Youth involved in 4-H represent all of Alabama: 56 percent are from towns of under 10,000 in population; 34 percent live in towns and cities between 10,000 and 50,000 people; 8 percent reside in suburbs and cities of more than 50,000; and 2 percent live on farms.

One of Alabama 4-H's core principles is to cultivate life-development skills. In teaching each subject, 4-H instills the character values children need to be successful, productive citizens. Alabama 4-H also teaches leadership skills. At the core of every 4-H curriculum is a commitment to developing the qualities that make children leaders. Many of Alabama's current business and professional leaders claim 4-H participation as one of the fundamental reasons for their success.

All monies donated to 4-H support youth programs and activities, and are not spent on administrative expenses or salaries. 4-H is a division of Extension based at Auburn and Alabama A&M universities. Extension agents and more than 15,000 volunteers statewide provide programs to youth in Alabama.

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