Walter and Rose Stonehocker of Adams County will donate $1.5 million endowment to support a Colorado State University Extension agent position for 4-H youth development in Adams County. Their donation will be presented to Extension during the annual Colorado State University Extension Forum Awards on Thursday, Oct. 4.
Combined with other funding sources, the Stonehocker endowment will help Adams County develop new and innovative 4-H youth development programs while maintaining a successful 4-H legacy.
Walter Stonehocker has been associated with 4-H since 1936. The
Stonehocker family has seven children, six of whom graduated from Colorado State University and one from the University of Northern Colorado.
This is a first-of-its-kind endowment for a Colorado State Extension county position in Colorado. With federal and state funding flat and many counties struggling to maintain non-mandated budgets, individual or corporate support for valued community resources is becoming critical.
Research indicates that 4-H improves grades, sociability and community engagement of youth in Colorado. 4-H youth programs are one of several Colorado State University Extension programs working to prepare Colorado high-school graduates for college educations and work force skilled in technology.
The Stonehocker family has continually been involved in Adams County 4-H. Bill Stonehocker served on the Adams County Extension Advisory Committee, and his wife Terri currently serves on the advisory committee in addition to being the program horse superintendent. Scott and Amy Stonehocker are the latest family 4-Hers involved in everything from rocketry, remote control cars, photography, and dogs to the more traditional horse shows, poultry and sheep.
"4-H builds leadership and gives our kids a sense of confidence," said Bill Stonehocker. "4-H is doing so much more than it used to, and so many more young people can benefit from the experience."
Colorado State University Extension works in 59 of 64 Colorado counties. In addition to 4-H youth programs, Extension agents address topics including natural resource management; nutrition and financial education; gardening and commercial horticulture; the latest agricultural production technologies; and youth, family, community and economic development.