History of the Maryland 4-H Foundation
The Maryland 4-H Foundation was founded in 1959 with the purpose of supporting national trips, Maryland state 4-H events, Maryland county grants and programs, awards and scholarships, and program endowments. Some of these Maryland 4-H programs include National 4-H Congress and Conference, Animal Science Judging Trips, the State Diamond Clover Program, the Berlage Innovative Grants Program for after-school programs, Maryland State Teen Council, the State Communications Contest, ten scholarships for senior Maryland 4-H members and alumni, and twenty-five program endowments that support ongoing Maryland 4-H programs in all project areas.
In 1980, the Maryland 4-H Foundation received a generous gift from Mr. William Blaisdell. Mr. Blaisdell bequeathed his 135 acre farm, which became the home of the Maryland 4-H Center, to the Maryland 4-H Foundation. Nine years later, the Maryland 4-H Foundation moved to its current location after receiving funding from a state bond bill passed by the General Assembly, and receiving the proceeds from the sales of the Blaisdell Farm. The current Maryland 4-H Center provides permanent headquarters for the 4-H Foundation staff, and the University of Maryland Extension Maryland 4-H faculty.
Over its past forty-nine years, the Maryland 4-H Foundation has sponsored Maryland 4-H events ranging from golf tournaments to sporting events to livestock auctions. Regardless of the year or the event taking place, the Maryland 4-H Foundation has attempted to build and manage the financial resources to support Maryland youth in reaching their fullest potential as competent, caring, responsible individuals through Maryland 4-H programs.