Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 11:07 AM by Global Reach

E.T. MeredithEdwin T. Meredith - Publisher

4-H Efforts: Founder of "Successful Farming" magazine, Meredith helped start 4-H. In 1916 he added a "Junior Soldiers of the Soil" section as “a service for farm boys and girls and the Federal Club Work.” Meredith established a loan fund of $250,000 in 1917 to help farm youth develop projects. Over 10,000 youth received loans, pledging only their character as collateral. Eventually every Iowa county had a livestock club with assistance from the loan fund. Meredith's support of 4-H club work encouraged businessmen in other states to initiate similar loan funds. The fund continued until 1930. Meredith helped form the National Committee on Boys’ and Girls’ Club Work in 1921, and served as chairman.

When the Committee incorporated in 1924, he continued as a director and served on the Executive Committee until his death. In the Committee's formative years, Meredith helped to pay committee debts. Since that time, the Meredith Foundation and the Meredith family have been active supporters of the 4-H program at local, state, and national levels. The Iowa Conference Room at the National 4-H Center, in Memory of Edwin T. Meredith, was supported by a major gift from the Meredith Foundation. The Meredith Foundation provided the first dollars for the Iowa 4-H Camping Center, with Hickory Lodge given in Memory of Edwin T. Meredith. For many years the Meredith Foundation provided scholarship support through National 4-H Council.

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