National FFA chapters connect with local farmers

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS, March 21, 2012- More than 850 FFA chapters in 12 states competed to win $275,000 in prizes by expanding agriculture education to local farmers in the FFA Chapter Challenge. The National FFA Organization and Monsanto announced 201 FFA chapters as winners this week. 

The FFA Chapter Challenge, a second-year National FFA Organization program sponsored by Monsanto, challenged FFA members to meet farmers in their local communities. After building relationships and learning about the different career aspects of production agriculture, FFA members encouraged the farmers to vote for their chapter online or over the phone.

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“Relationships are central to growing a career in any field, let alone agriculture. We love how this program emphasizes that while also supporting FFA chapters who work the hardest,” said executive director of the National FFA Foundation, Rob Cooper. “We're very grateful of Monsanto's support of this program and truly believe it will be a great tool to grow tomorrow's agriculture leaders."

The grand prize winner, Lawrence County High School FFA Chapter in Moulton, Ala., connected with 1,110 farmers in their area. The chapter will be send six FFA members and one chapter advisor to Indianapolis for an all-expenses paid trip to the 85th National FFA Convention & Expo in October. 

Combined with an extra $2,500 designated for other FFA uses like registration fees for the Washington Leadership Conference or chapter supplies, the north Alabama FFA chapter is looking at an estimated $9,000-worth of prizes for bringing their chapter closer to local farmers.

“The mission of FFA goes beyond farming, but its heart will always be in creating new generations of leaders who understand agriculture and small communities,” said Monsanto customer outreach lead, Linda Arnold. “Monsanto is proud to partner with the National FFA Foundation to help local chapters create that bond with the people who grow our food and build our communities.”

The other 200 FFA chapters in 12 states - Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas -also won chapter proceeds in the two-month competition. The top chapter in each state received a $2,500 FFA certificate, while chapters ranked second to tenth in each state received FFA certificates worth between $1,000 and $2,000. The 80 chapters that didn't score in their state's top 10 also won $1,000. Complete results, state-by-state, are available on the FFA Chapter Challenge website.

Voting for the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge began Jan. 16 and finished Feb. 29, with over 10,000 votes coming in during the final week of competition.

As the grand prize winner, the Lawrence County High School FFA Chapter will join over 50,000 FFA members, advisors and guests at October's 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. 


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