Supporting Ag’s Future Leaders

November 23, 2022
Megan Wolle, president of the CHS Foundation, describes how the organization supports ag education and leadership development through industry connections and grant programs.

Since 1947, the CHS Foundation has donated more than $84 million to support ag education and leadership programs. As the foundation celebrates its 75th anniversary, CHS Foundation President Megan Wolle says developing well-rounded ag leaders for the next generation is a top priority.

Educating at every age

CHS Foundation donations support cooperative education, ag leadership programs and university partnerships. Wolle says these strategic investments help reach future ag leaders at all ages.

“We start with elementary school youth through partnerships with National Ag in the Classroom and state cooperative camps. We reach middle and high school students through 4-H and FFA. And college students receive support through scholarships and curricula at 25 partner colleges and universities.”

Celebrating ag teachers

An ag educator is often a student’s introduction to agriculture, so Wolle says teacher recruitment and retention is a focus area for the foundation. Through its partnership with the National Teach Ag Campaign, the CHS Foundation encourages people to consider teaching careers in agriculture and celebrates the positive contributions agriculture teachers make in schools and communities. 

Typically, the foundation has supported teachers through state and national partnerships, but this year funds will be awarded directly to teachers.

“We’re awarding $75,000 to teachers this year to celebrate the CHS Foundation’s 75th anniversary,” says Wolle. “We want to recognize educators’ dedication to developing the strong ag leaders the industry needs for the future. We’re excited to support these teachers in all the great work that they do.”

More than 130 teachers from across the country submitted online applications to be considered for a grant. The CHS Foundation chose 15 finalists and the top three will attend the CHS annual meeting in early December 2022 to compete for the top prize of $20,000.

Beyond this anniversary program, Wolle says the foundation will continue to celebrate the efforts of all ag teachers and recognizes their deep commitment to students and to agriculture.