WVU Students – On and Off Campus – to Benefit from Gifts from Farm Credit of the Virginias
West Virginia University Extension and the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design are preparing students – on campus and around the state – for future success. Gifts from Farm Credit of the Virginias will expand financial literacy in West Virginia, while enhancing undergraduate research opportunities and innovation in agriculture.
The $67,500 gift to WVU Extension will create the Farm Credit of the Virginias Financial Literacy Fund. These funds will be used to support WVU Extension’s financial literacy outreach and education to youths and adults throughout the state.
The WVU Extension Financial Literacy team includes faculty from Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Community Development and 4-H Youth Development. The team’s goal is to create statewide programming and curriculum that addresses finances at every life stage, from basic money skills for kids to end-of-life planning for adults. Faculty work with schools, community leaders, senior centers and other groups to provide outreach and education in our West Virginia communities.
The team has been instrumental in providing resources for students and families who are planning for post-secondary education, including offering free courses in completing the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). In 2021-22, nearly 300 high school students participated in “Paying for Post-Secondary School” education module. Farm Credit of the Virginias Financial Literacy Fund will support these types of programs.
“Giving West Virginians the tools and resources they need to be financially sound is critical. We are grateful to the team at the Farm Credit of the Virginias for recognizing and supporting our work to help West Virginians learn more about all aspects of finances – from credit cards and loans to savings and debt,” Lauren Weatherford, WVU Associate Profession and Extension Agent – Fayette and Nicholas Counties, and member of the Financial Literacy Team, said. “This program provides resources and education to help our citizens manage financial resources and improve financial decision making. That, in turn, improves their wellbeing. These programs also give our young people a strong foundation in financial literacy and prepares them for future success.”
Farm Credit of the Virginias gifted the Davis College $67,500 to establish the Farm Credit of the Virginias Student Farm Research & Entrepreneurship Fund. These funds will be used to provide opportunities for student innovation in areas such as sustainable farming, agricultural technology, urban agriculture, food waste reduction, plant genetics, agricultural education and policy.
The financial support will aid research and development at the College’s Research, Education and Outreach Centers and greenhouses. Not only will the gift provide funding, but it creates greater access to education. With technology and materials as well as travel costs covered, students will have more opportunities to participate in entrepreneurial activities, including business plan competitions and impact challenges. This gift provides opportunities for experiences outside the classroom to be more equitable, allowing students to pursue their goals regardless of their economic background. It furthers all students’ possibilities of building their professional skillset and gaining employment after graduation.
“By leveraging the Farm Credit gift effectively, the college can create an ecosystem that nurtures and supports undergraduate innovation through enhanced learning experiences, collaboration and entrepreneurial support,” Jason Hubbart, Davis College interim associate dean of research, said. “It can empower students to become lifelong innovators, critical thinkers and change-makers in their respective fields. The skills and mindset developed through innovative experiences can contribute to their success in the workforce, entrepreneurship and addressing real-world challenges.”
Brad Cornelius, CEO of Farm Credit of the Virginias noted, “WVU shares our passion for and dedication to agricultural education and our rural communities, and we know these funds will provide critical resources for the next generation of agriculturalists throughout West Virginia.”
This endowment was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.
To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit extension.wvu.edu or follow @WVUExtension on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design envisions a world sustainably fed, clothed and sheltered. To learn more about the Davis College, visit davis.wvu.edu.