FFA members in 12 states continue push to connect with local farmers

FFA members in 12 states continue push to connect with local farmers

”NationalIt’s no secret that networking is a pivotal step toward a bright career in any industry. With that in mind – and a chance to win some substantial prizes for their FFA chapter – FFA members in 12 states are producing new connections with local farmers at an incredible rate.

Just over a month after the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge launched, 12,695 people have logged-in to http://www.FFAChapterChallenge.com to register a vote for one of 809 FFA chapters. The individual FFA chapters are competing for some considerable prizes totaling $300,000 – with the chapter receiving the most overall votes receiving an expenses-paid trip to October’s 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. The competition is only expected to increase with FFA members going out in force during next week’s National FFA Week ahead of the program closing on Feb. 29.

Sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, the premise of the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge is simple: members from local FFA chapters build relationships with local farmers. The opportunity gives FFA members a chance to learn about different aspects of agricultural careers while building community awareness of their FFA chapter. Afterward, the FFA members ask the farmer to vote for their chapter to increase their chance to win.

Randy Kramer, of Bird Island, Minn., is a one of the farmers who has voted for a local FFA chapter. A former FFA member himself, Kramer still serves on the chapter’s advisory committee.

“FFA had a great impact on my life, especially the parliamentary procedure, which I have used in my board activities from local to state levels,” said Kramer. “We help the advisor and students as needed, and we advocate for keeping agriculture in the classroom and promoting leadership activities.”

More stories about farmers who have voted in the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge are available at http://www.FFAChapterChallenge.com/featured_farmers/.

Of the 12 states eligible for this expanded second-year program, Missouri (2,287 votes) and Tennessee (2,079) are neck-and-neck for the top state honors. Indiana, Iowa, and Texas round out the top-five, ahead of Alabama, Mississippi, Illinois, Minnesota, Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana. In the chapter contest, Boone A&M FFA in Iowa leads the pack with 460 total votes.

The top 200 FFA chapters who make the most connections and receive the most farmer votes by February 29 will be awarded between $1,000 and $2,500 in FFA credit to be used for chapter supply purchases or registration fees for national FFA leadership conferences. As a sponsor of the program, Monsanto will provide more than $300,000 in incentives.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT FFA CHAPTER CHALLENGE
Rob Cooper, National FFA Foundation Executive Director: “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. 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."

Linda Arnold, Consumer Advocacy Lead for Monsanto: “Monsanto is very excited to support this program for a second year. As a company whose only business is agriculture, we are committed to educational programs like FFA Chapter Challenge that generate excitement in learning about farming. We encourage FFA members to reach out to farmers in their communities and learn more about their livelihood.”

TOP LOCAL FFA CHAPTERS IN 2012 FFA CHAPTER CHALLEGE (as of 2/16/12)
Iowa -- Boone A&M FFA (460 votes)
Alabama -- Danville High School FFA (403 votes)
Texas -- Industrial High School FFA (362 votes)
Arkansas -- Springdale High School FFA (353 votes)
Tennessee -- Ben W Hooper Vocational School FFA (313 votes)
Tennessee -- Cloudland High School FFA (273 votes)
Indiana -- Clinton Prairie High School FFA (255 votes)
Indiana -- Cloverdale High School FFA (235 votes)
Texas -- Needville High School FFA (198 votes)
Indiana -- McCutcheon High School FFA (195 votes)

About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members as part of 7,489 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online , on Facebook, on Twitter and FFA Nation.

2.16.2012