As part of its recently concluded National 4-H Week celebration, Missouri 4-H has announced a statewide fundraising opportunity, open to all 4-H clubs across the state, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor’s Buy Missouri initiative.
The Missouri Grown fundraiser, coordinated by MDA, lets 4-H members raise funds for their 4-H clubs by selling Missouri-made products at any time during the year.
“From pears to pork, hundreds of fresh and nutritious products are grown by the men and women of Missouri agriculture,” said Reagan Brown, Missouri Grown marketing specialist with MDA’s Ag Business Division. “By selecting Missouri Grown products, 4-H clubs can show state pride and support for their neighbors — the farmers and business owners who make Missouri so great.”
To participate, 4-H clubs select products to sell from a list of approved Missouri Grown agribusiness vendors. Clubs set their own goals and timelines and receive custom-printed catalogs from MDA that include a club photo and description, goal statement, and selected products and order forms.
Clubs then launch their Missouri Grown fundraiser, selling products to customers in their communities at retail cost. Participating farms and businesses receive the wholesale cost of items sold as well as increased visibility through the marketing and sales efforts of 4-H members.
Local 4-H groups can raise funds for trips, camp scholarships and special events as they help strengthen Missouri farms and businesses, said Steve Henness, state 4-H youth development specialist for University of Missouri Extension.
“Customers can feel good that every purchase goes to support a local 4-H club while directing their dollars back to Missouri jobs and communities,” Henness said.
4-H groups also will learn valuable life skills through the program.
While working to achieve goals they set, members will apply skills they are learning through 4-H, such as planning, decision-making, project management, teamwork and public speaking.
This announcement coincides with the conclusion of National 4-H Week, which marks the beginning of the 4-H year, and the second annual Buy Missouri Week, Oct. 12-19.
The Buy Missouri initiative was launched in 2017 by then-Lt. Gov. Mike Parson to overwhelming bipartisan support from both legislative chambers (SB 891).
Now under the direction of current Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Buy Missouri strengthens the state’s economy by promoting Missouri companies, manufacturers and products.
By giving 4-H youth more exposure to Missouri industries, organizers say, both initiatives can help young people make connections to future leadership and career opportunities.
“Missouri Grown and Buy Missouri can both help 4-H members take away a deeper appreciation for their state and its people,” Henness said. “Through broader awareness of business opportunities, Missouri 4-H’ers can also see a place for themselves in that picture in the future.”
About Missouri 4-H
More than 181,900 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow — making a real difference in their community, country and world.
4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System.
For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.