VIPs gather for a reception dinner for the annual Pinal 40 Arizona Agricultural Experience. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Pinal 40, a philanthropic fraternity, hosted its welcome dinner for the annual Arizona Agricultural Experience at Elements Event Center at Ak-Chin Circle in Maricopa Tuesday. Pinal 40 supports youth and education through agribusiness-related scholarships and local charities.

Tuesday night’s keynote speaker was Steve Keim, general manager of the Arizona Cardinals. The Pennsylvania native spoke about finding success by having passion and humility. He also answered questions about the Cardinals’ prospects for the upcoming season.

 

Pinal 40 was launched in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) to create a pool of philanthropists in the county. Members join only by invitation and must each raise $5,000 per year for the youth programs supported by Pinal 40. Those include FFA, 4-H and The Boys & Girls Clubs. Last year, the group raised more than $200,000.

“We decided Pinal County down here really needs a lot of help because we have poor communities and so forth, and they need support to help the kids,” said Dennis Dugan, a founder of Pinal 40.

Colton Debold, president of the FFA chapter in Casa Grande, said his organization benefits from the support of the Pinal 40 sponsors not only through scholarships but also in help with their projects.

Learn more about the organization at http://pinal40.org/.

The Arizona Agricultural Experience, which lasts through March 9, includes tours of the T&K Red River Dairy, Maricopa Agriculture Center, Ak-Chin Farms, Ehrmann Dairy Yogurt Plant and Tractor4 Supply Distribution Center. The host hotel is Harrah’s Ak-Chin.

Howard Wuertz, a pioneer in drip irrigation, was given a lifetime achievement award, the first presented by the young organization.

 

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