Tractor Supply and the National FFA are supporting the next generation of agricultural leaders through the third annual Grants for Growing program. This year, Tractor Supply stores nationwide raised a record $830,000 through customer donations to fund sustainable, youth-driven agriculture projects made possible by the initiative.
Tractor Supply awarded 271 grants impacting more than 30,000 students this spring to FFA chapters across the country that requested funding to build or enhance educational projects that will further their students’ understanding of agriculture. From research farms to outdoor learning centers, the grants will be used to purchase the supplies needed to fulfill the projects such as power tools, hydroponic systems, fencing, vegetation, livestock, poultry, feed, mulch, and much more.
“An investment in agricultural education is an investment in the agriculture leaders of tomorrow,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “Grants for Growing is one of our key donation sponsorships that allows us to foster students’ growth by giving educators the resources they need to make our communities stronger, more sustainable places.”
Between Jan. 10 and Feb. 14, FFA received nearly 600 applications from FFA chapters across the country detailing how they would start or expand a unique and sustainable project. Coinciding with National FFA Week, Tractor Supply hosted a 10-day in-store fundraising event nationwide, which offered shoppers the opportunity to donate at checkout in support of the program. Many chapters participated in additional fundraising opportunities at their local Tractor Supply stores to supplement donations, including bake sales, car washes, and more.
A wide variety of agriculture projects were awarded during this year’s initiative. In Ashland, Missouri, the Ashland FFA received a grant to fund its Mobile Children’s Barnyard, an interactive barnyard exhibit that travels to area festivals and events. In Touchet, Washington, the Touchet FFA will use their grant to build a student-based apparel shop where chapter members will design customized T-shirts to sell to the community in order to raise money for chapter events and travel.
Since the program’s start in 2016, Grants for Growing has raised more than $2.2 million for the National FFA Organization. In total, the initiative has funded 994 grants supporting projects involving more than 103,000 students.