CHS Foundation donates $225,000 to COVID-19 relief for students

Two students standing crossed-arm in front of a silo.

Jun 11, 2020

Despite school being out for the summer, students are still feeling the effects from COVID-19 and are needing support now more than ever. In response, the CHS Foundation has committed $225,000 to help future ag leaders continue their education and develop leadership skills during this unprecedented time. Here’s how the CHS Foundation is supporting the next generation of ag leaders affected by COVID-19:

  • $5,000 will be distributed to the student emergency funds at each of the CHS Foundation’s 25 University Partners, for a total of $125,000. The funding will support students studying agriculture and provide them with essential resources to continue their education and assist with loss of income, financial support or stability, or lack of resources to effectively engage in studies remotely.

“This level of partnership and generosity will go a long way in supporting all students as they struggle with loss of jobs and stress of the current circumstances that are impacting their future,” says Hilarie Ehlert, director of Foundation Relations, Montana State University. “Our Student Emergency Fund has been providing students with funds for things such as groceries, rent and internet access so they can continue in their academic work.”

  • $100,000 will benefit the 4-H FOURWARD Fund, which helps youth and families navigate a new way of learning with engaging solutions – both online and offline. As millions of young people are impacted by closures, funds will support state and local 4-H club efforts, as well as deliver mobile-friendly digital platforms and solutions to serve youth in rural and urban communities.

“Even as we face new obstacles, 4-H’s commitment to positive youth development is unwavering,” says Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “We are grateful to partners, like the CHS Foundation, who recognize in these uncertain times that the need to support all young people with educational resources, mentorship and a sense of belonging is critical.”

The CHS Foundation support builds on previous funding from CHS Community Giving for COVID-19 relief, including a $125,000 contribution to national and Twin Cities organizations.

“Working with our University partners and 4-H to make a difference is how we live out the cooperative spirit,” says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. “The CHS Foundation is dedicated to developing ag leaders for life, especially during these challenging times.”

To learn more about ways CHS and the CHS Foundation give back, visit