Nevada FFA members will soon be cheering “head on the stock, eye on the rock,” at one of the state FFA Foundation’s most successful fundraising events.
For the past 12 years, the Nevada FFA Foundation Sporting Clay Shoot has been a staple in supporting the 28-chapter, 3,000-member, state-wide organization. Ever since an FFA Foundation board member, and also an active shooter, suggested the idea, the annual Clay Shoots have brought in anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 per year.
“Former FFA members connect at the event. Some are still in agriculture but others are not,” said Heather Nye, Executive Director, Nevada FFA Association and Foundation. “Everyone appreciates talking to the FFA state officers and local students.”
This year’s 13th annual clay shooting events will be held June 3 in Eureka and August 26 in Gardnerville. Last year Gardnerville hosted 166 shooters, 33 teams and 14 overall event sponsors. One hundred and fifteen shooters, 23 teams, and 10 overall event sponsors participated at Eureka’s shoot in 2016. Both clay shoots also brought numerous personal and business sponsors.
The Nevada FFA Foundation accepts business and individual sponsorships for stations, event t-shirts, award belt buckles, lunch and refreshments, shells, event hats, as well as assorted raffle prizes and general donations to offset event costs.
Initially the Foundation also had a golf tournament, but as the events started expanding the organization could no longer commit to golf — instead putting all their energy and time on the two clay shoots each year.
Nye said many businesses sponsored teams at the beginning. However, when the economy in Nevada was hurting, the FFA Foundation saw less businesses sponsoring teams and more individuals paying to shoot. Today the organization sees a mixture of businesses and individuals.
“Some of the people are connected to FFA,” Nye said. “There are other shooters that don’t have a direct connection to FFA, but enjoy our shoots and appreciate the students and cause.”
Nye credits committed board members for the success behind the event. Also the Foundation aimed from the start to create an event for clay shooting enthusiasts.
“We have continually strived to provide a consistent event that focuses on the shooters and connecting them with FFA students,” Nye said. “The FFA shoots have allowed us to connect to a wide-variety of people who all support FFA.”
For other FFA Foundations considering hosting a fundraiser such as this, Nye said it all comes back to the FFA students.
“Be consistent in providing a quality event. Make sure to exceed expectations and always connect participants with the FFA students,” Nye said. “Respectful and helpful FFA students sell the cause to shooters and all supporters.”
Registration for the Eureka Clay Shoot is open until May 24 and includes 100 sporting clay targets, ammo, t-shirt, hat, lunch, and refreshments. The Foundation will award guns and other raffle items to 38 Silver Buckles in: Individual & Team – High Over All, Runner-Up, Classes A—D Individual – High Lady and High Jr (16 years old and under).