Boswell Foundation Challenge Grant, Booth Foundation Gift Provide Boost to Ag Leadership Endowment Campaign

SALINAS, October 22, 2012 – The board of directors of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), currently in the early phases of a major endowment campaign, today announced a challenge grant from the Boswell Foundation, matching dollar for dollar all funds raised up to $1 million by Dec. 31, 2013.

The Boswell Foundation’s commitment follows the largest single endowment contribution to Ag Leadership, a $5 million gift from the Otis Booth Foundation.

Based in Salinas, CALF is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that depends solely on individuals, foundations and corporations for operational support. The foundation supports the 42-year-old California Agricultural Leadership Program.

The late J.G. Boswell II was a cofounder of the Ag Leadership Program in the late 1960s. The Boswell Foundation continues as the largest donor to the program over its 42-year history. The intent of the challenge grant is to attract more donors to the campaign and to help create a strong fiscal base to build on for decades to come.

The Los Angeles-based Otis Booth Foundation is the legacy of the late Franklin Otis Booth, Jr., a successful executive, rancher and philanthropist who was an enthusiastic supporter of the Ag Leadership Program and the results it produced.

“We are extremely grateful to the Boswell Foundation and the Otis Booth Foundation for these extraordinarily generous gifts to our endowment,” said Bob Gray, CALF president and chief executive officer. “These gifts come at a critical time in the history of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. They will be the building blocks upon which to mount an aggressive campaign to grow the foundation’s endowment and ensure the sustainability of the program for future generations of agriculture leaders.”

The campaign seeks philanthropic support from alumni and friends of Ag Leadership to secure core funding for the program in perpetuity. More than $7 million has been raised to date. The campaign goal, not yet finalized, will be shaped in large part by the response of prospective donors during these early stages of the campaign.

James W. (Jim) Boswell, associated with Class 17, said in announcing the foundation gift, “We hope this challenge grant will further stimulate the strong beginning to the Ag Leadership Foundation’s endowment campaign, so that over time this much-in-demand leadership program will become less reliant on a handful of legacy donors and be able to sustain itself on its own. My family loves this program and we want to see it continue for generations to come.”

Palmer Murray, vice president and treasurer of the Otis Booth Foundation, said, “On behalf of my co-trustees, we are very pleased to be able to make this contribution to the future of the best agricultural leadership program in the world. Our commitment is perfectly aligned with Otis Booth’s keen interest in California agriculture and his recognition of the importance of developing leaders. Otis Booth always made the extra effort to excel in everything he set out to do. The men and women who participate in the California Agricultural Leadership Program have this same ambition. We are delighted to support leaders who make a difference in agriculture and in their communities.”

The Ag Leadership Program is the longest continuously operating leadership training experience of its kind in the United States and is considered to be the world’s premier agricultural leadership program. The 16-month program is offered with four California partner universities – Cal Poly Pomona; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; California State University, Fresno; and UC Davis – at nominal cost to the participants. With nearly 1,200 graduates since the program began in 1970, Ag Leadership alumni are influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, government, communities, business and education.

• Bob Gray, 831-585-1030,

Media Contact: Liza Teixeira Robertson   (559) 816-5979 |

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