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Grants of $250 are available to 4-H clubs and FFA chapters for implementing valuable community improvement projects. Funds will be awarded to assist club and chapter members in bringing positive change by establishing projects that make local communities better places to live.

Each
proposal will be reviewed and scored by a grant review team. Award winning clubs/chapters will be notified of their award and contacted by a local Farm Credit representative to schedule a check presentation and photo opportunity.

Clubs/chapters should choose a project that has tangible value where the outcome of the project is visible in the community. The most successful projects are usually suggested from within the club/chapter after discussing the needs of the local community. Farm Credit encourages collaboration with other community organizations to develop and complete the improvement project. Clubs/chapters who have received grants in past years can apply for funds to continue or add to previously sponsored projects. Be sure to fully describe the project as judges change from year to year.

The following list of winning projects completed by other clubs/chapters may stimulate discussion for your group.​
  • Implement a tree planting
  • Provide repairs at a community church
  • Provide improvements to a local park or cemetary
  • Develop a bicycle, horse, or hiking trail
  • Construct and maintain a community bulletin board
  • Provide landscaping at a fairgrounds, park, or other community meeting place
  • Develop a roadside park
  • Set up a self-guided nature trail
  • Construct a welcome sign for your community
  • Plant a community garden

1.     Solicit project suggestions from club members and select the most worthwhile workable project for your community. 

2.     Develop a budget and timeline for completing the project. Consider how working with other community organizations could contribute to the success of your project. 

3.     Appoint or elect a committee of 4-H/FFA youth to provide leadership to the project. 

4.     Submit completed application to Farm Credit by clicking "Submit" at the bottom of the form. The option to add up to five photos or documents to support the application can be found at the bottom of the form. Applications are due by February 27, 2015. 

5.     The grant review team will make final decisions on grants by March 13, 2015. 

6.     The $250 grant check and a vinyl sign to potentially mark the site of the community improvement project will be presented to the club/chapter by a local Farm Credit representative.​ 

Reporting Recommendations

  • Keep a record or scrapbook of your project from the beginning, including photos.
  • Share updates about your project with the local Farm Credit regional office and all other contributing organizations.
  • Inform community leaders and local news media about the project, updating them periodically on progress and community response.
4-H clubs and FFA chapters eligible for the community improvement grants must be located in one of the 60 counties served by Farm Credit Illinois:​

Alexander, Bond, Calhoun, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Iroquois, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Johnson, Lawrence, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Massac, Menard, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Perry, Piatt, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saint Clair, Saline, Sangamon, Scott, Shelby, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White, and Williamson.​

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