Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 12:53 PM by Global Reach

Florine SwansonFlorine Swanson - Executive Director, Iowa 4-H Foundation

4-H Efforts: Iowa 4-H member 9 years. National 4-H Congress, 1959. National 4-H Conference, 1961. IFYE to Germany, 1963. IA 4-H Foundation Board, President, Executive Director. National 4-H Trustees Conference participant and planning committee, host in 2005. Executive Institute for Fund Development. The Power of Youth Philanthropic Fund Raising editorial team. National 4-H Council Strategic Design Team. Competencies for 4-H Fundraising Professionals Task Force.

Honors: Epsilon Sigma Phi Friend of Extension, 2008. NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award, 2005. Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame, 2005. Epsilon Sigma Phi Mid-Career Award, 2003. Iowa 4-H Foundation Honor Court, 1999. Iowa 4-H Alumni Award, 1986. Phi Kappa Phi Alumni Initiate, 1986. Iowa State Univ. Alumni Merit Award, 1981.

Florine Swanson joined 4-H at age 10. After graduating from Iowa State, she became a volunteer 4-H club leader. Her tenure with the Iowa 4-H Foundation included 11 years on the Board of Trustees, president in 1982-83, and Executive Director from 1987-2005. Assets grew from $750,000 to over $5 million, and the annual operating budget increased from $150,000 to over $2 million. She established a $3.5 million endowment fund and led fundraising for the Extension 4-H Youth Building at Iowa State. Swanson secured a special $50,000 Iowa Dept. of Agriculture appropriation for program grants to counties and a part-time agriculture program specialist. 4-H scholarships grew from five $500 awards to over 100 valued at over $100,000.

Florine established a fund to help members attend 4-H camp, 4-H conferences, and assist with the program development fee. She coordinated over $1 million of improvements to the Iowa 4-H Camping Center. Florine served three years on the National 4-H Strategic Directions Team, three years on the National 4-H Leadership Trust, and on the Competencies for 4-H Fundraising Professionals Expert Panel. She participated in National 4-H Trustees workshops for 25 years as a trustee and Executive Director. She's been a National IFYE Alumni Association member since 1963 and served in leadership positions for two national conferences. Florine and her husband established an endowment for the Iowa 4-H Center in 2010.

Quote: The 4-H pledge has exemplified my life. It opened the doors for many opportunities as a youth and as an adult. With all opportunities comes responsibilities and thus the more I have received, the more I felt an obligation to give. The greatest reward has been the success of the young people with whom I have worked in the 4-H program and now to have a son as a 4-H leader and my grandchildren participating in the program.

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