Thomas and Rhonda Coon elected to Michigan 4-H Foundation board of trustees

Thomas and Rhonda Coon, Portage, were elected to the Michigan 4-H Foundation board of trustees at its September 29 annual membership meeting.

Thomas Coon and Rhonda Coon headshots.

Thomas and Rhonda Coon, Portage, were elected to the Michigan 4-H Foundation board of trustees at its September 29 annual membership meeting. Each will serve a three-year term.

The Michigan 4-H Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that supports the mission and vision of Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H Youth Development. The foundation receives donations from individuals and organizations to support 4-H youth development activities and to train Michigan 4-H’s adult and older teen volunteers.

The Coons have been dedicated supporters of and donors to 4-H in Michigan, Iowa and Oklahoma. During the Michigan 4-H Foundation’s previous capital campaign, which ran from 2011 to 2018, they joined nine other couples as members of the Leadership 10. (The Leadership 10 was a group of 10 couples who served as the face of the capital campaign by sharing their compelling 4-H stories and support of Michigan 4-H.) Thomas and Rhonda were also leadership donors to the County 4-H Endowment match pool, which helped to build and grow 4-H endowments in 31 counties across the state. 

Thomas Coon recently retired after serving nine years at Oklahoma State University (OSU) as the vice president and dean of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. In this role, he led a capital campaign to raise funds for a new state-of-the-art teaching, research and Extension facility for OSU Agriculture. Previously, Thomas served as the director of MSU Extension for nine years and as trustee of the Michigan 4-H Foundation. Additionally, he was a professor in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife for 25 years. 

Rhonda Coon was an active 4-H member in Iowa for 10 years, capping her years as a state 4-H officer in 1973-74. After graduating from Iowa State University, she was the county 4-H youth agent in Plymouth County, Iowa, and served as the executive director of the Iowa 4-H Foundation for three years. Rhonda has also had more than 25 years of experience as an independent fundraising professional. She has raised money for WKAR radio and television and MSU’s annual giving program, and served as alumni director for the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

Michigan 4-H Foundation trustees are volunteers who manage foundation policies and operations, and are community advocates for ongoing and increasing support for 4-H. They are also charged with overseeing the activities of foundation staff members and working on committees to facilitate foundation operations. For more information about the Michigan 4-H Foundation, visit

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