Providing grants to local FFA Chapters is the newest aspect of more than 70 years of support from AGCO and its brands and an effort AGCO leadership, dealers and the local chapters are especially excited about.
“Several of the Massey Ferguson®, Challenger® and Gleaner® dealers throughout the AGCO network asked us for a way to support the activities and needs of FFA chapters in their local communities. In response, we expanded our scholarship program to provide AGCO dealer grants,” Alistair McLelland, vice president of marketing, North America explains. “The first grants were presented three years ago, and we’ve seen those investments put to work in some very thoughtful and beneficial ways.” A few examples include:
- Saranac FFA in Saranac, Mich., was in desperate need of technology in their classroom, so they used the funds to purchase Chromebook™ laptops for students to use when completing lab assignments.
- At the Kern County FFA in Lake Isabella, Calif., the funds had a significant impact through the chapter’s annual Food for America program where students educate kindergarteners about the importance of agriculture. More than 700 kindergarteners were engaged through hands-on education and chapter members honed their presentation and “Agvocacy” skills. The grant also helped provide education materials and products that were given to each of the elementary groups.
- Jordan-Matthews FFA in Siler City, N.C., is putting up a new fence around raised garden beds at the school as they expand the hands-on learning aspects for their Horticulture curriculum.
- Jackson County Central FFA, in Jackson, Minn., used their grant to send members to the Minnesota State FFA Convention.
- The Briggsdale FFA Chapter in Briggsdale, Colo., applied its grant to cover the costs of registration for conferences and contests, providing opportunities that help students better understand the agricultural industry. Students benefit from meeting industry professionals, as well as through exploring college campuses that offer a wide range of agricultural degree options. The grants help offset an expense that some families can’t afford.
For the 2016-2017 scholarship year, AGCO and more than 40 of the company’s dealers provided 118 scholarships to deserving FFA members and 30 grants to local chapters in the dealers’ communities. Fourteen state associations of those selected chapters also received $200 grants.