“Be The Seed” grants awarded to area FFA chapters

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Twelve Iowa FFA chapters have been awarded $2,500 “Be The Seed” grants to spur innovation and progress in their communities while promoting the importance of farming. The “Be The Seed” Grant Program, providing $35,000 in community funding, is sponsored by the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) in cooperation with DuPont Pioneer and the Iowa Soybean Association. Among the grant recipients was the Guthrie Center and West Central Valley FFA’s.

The Guthrie Center FFA plans to establish a community orchard, working with the school’s Family and Consumer Sciences department. The chapter is inspired by the long-term potential of such a project. Establishing a community orchard creates an opportunity to teach students and the area about the importance of agriculture and how people can grow their own food. As the populations continue to grow, food production is going to become increasingly important, and the chapter would like to foster a community-focused interest in food production for local students and area food banks.

West Central Valley FFA in Stuart, will work with the Stuart Public Library to create a community reading garden. The reading garden will encourage people to become more active outdoors and to learn about plants. The reading garden will be used as a way to engage the public by providing a place for them to learn about annuals, perennials, as well as garden crops. FFA members will tend to the garden throughout the summers and will be available to the public as a resource for information.

Grant recipients will be recognized in April at the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference in Ames. One chapter determined to have conducted the most successful activity in partnership with its community will be recognized with a $5,000 Award of Achievement. More than 40 FFA chapters applied for grant funding.

(For more information, go to: http://www.iasoybeans.com/whatnew/release/275)