The Brentwood-based Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA Organization continue to partner to support the next generation of agricultural leaders through their Grants for Growing program.
Grants for Growing provides funding to FFA chapters across the country for the development or improvement of a proposed agricultural project. This year, Tractor Supply stores nationwide raised a record $970,121 through customer donations to fund sustainable, youth-driven agriculture projects made possible by the initiative.
Tractor Supply awarded 259 grants impacting more than 24,000 students in 258 FFA chapters across the country this spring. From school gardens to beekeeping stations, the grants will be used to purchase the supplies needed to fulfill agricultural projects such as power tools, hydroponic systems, fencing, vegetation, livestock, poultry, feed, mulch and more.
Active FFA chapters in the local area include those at Fairview, Page and Spring Hill high schools.
“The Grants for Growing program gives Tractor Supply the opportunity to leave a lasting, positive impact on youth across the country who are interested in farming, gardening and other hands-on, outdoor projects,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “The thoughtful donations from this program allow us to further students’ understanding of agriculture by providing educators with the necessary resources to make our communities more sustainable places.”
Over the course of six weeks, FFA received 436 grant applications, which detailed how FFA chapters across the country would start or expand a unique and sustainable project. Coinciding with National FFA Week, Tractor Supply hosted a 12-day in-store national fundraising event, which offered shoppers the opportunity to donate at checkout in support of the program. Donations were also accepted online with a purchase.
A wide variety of rural lifestyle-type projects were awarded grants during this year’s initiative. In Louisiana, the Ponchatoula FFA received a grant to expand their beekeeping operation, which will engage more students, establish more hives on campus and teach members how to extract, package and sell honey throughout the community. In Virginia, the Scott County FFA is building an on-site barn with the funding so that students have more hands-on learning experiences with livestock.
Since the program’s start in 2016, Grants for Growing has raised more than $3.2 million for the National FFA Organization. In total, the initiative has funded 1,258 grants supporting projects involving more than 127,000 students.
For more details about the program, visit www.FFA.org/grantsforgrowing.