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ANKENY — Eight Iowa FFA chapters have been awarded $1,500 “Planting A Seed” grants by the Iowa Food and Family Project to conduct activities that increase agricultural awareness in their communities and interest among youth in food production and life sci

By Staff | Feb 19, 2013

ANKENY – Eight Iowa FFA chapters have been awarded $1,500 “Planting A Seed” grants by the Iowa Food and Family Project to conduct activities that increase agricultural awareness in their communities and interest among youth in food production and life sciences.

The program is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer in cooperation with the Iowa FFA Foundation.

Grant recipients are: Boone A& M FFA; Charles City FFA; Clay-Central/Everly FFA, Everly; LaPorte Dysart FFA, LaPorte City; Nevada FFA; Starmont FFA, Arlington; Tri-Star FFA, Guttenberg; and West Liberty FFA.

The chapters will use grant funding to conduct programs this spring to promote interest in ag-related careers and the roles that science and technology play in providing wholesome food using less land and fewer inputs.

They’ll be recognized in April at the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference in Ames. The chapter determined to have conducted the most innovative and successful activity will be presented a $2,000 Award of Excellence to be used for general chapter activities.

“A growing population presents challenges and tremendous opportunities for Iowa’s agricultural community,” said Todd Frazier, DuPont Pioneer business director. “By nurturing the next generation of farmers, agronomists, researchers and scientists, we can leverage Iowa’s rich agricultural legacy to meet the challenge.”

Aaron Putze, director of communications for the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa FFP coordinator, says grant program judges were impressed with the number and quality of applications.

“The selection process was robust given that 54 chapters submitted applications,” he said. “The tremendous response to this program is an indication of the growing interest there is in FFA, food production and ag-related careers. We look forward to working with grant recipients to implement their successful programs.”

Activities to be conducted by grant recipients within the Farm News coverage area include:

  • Boone A&M FFA: Distribute “Planting a Seed” kits to grade-school students to take home and grow a vegetable plant. The goal is to encourage students to transplant their plants to a home garden to experience agriculture and produce healthy food at home.
  • Clay Central/Everly FFA: Teach children how to grow their own food through a multi-phase approach beginning with the MavPack program. FFA members will include a variety of Iowa-produced foods in MavPacks distributed to students for use on weekends and school vacations. The chapter also wants to establish a garden and to develop students’ horticulture skills and teach healthy eating habits.
  • Nevada FFA: Highlight local renewable fuels industry-leading businesses with an Iowa High School Renewable Energy Conference.

The conference will be open to Iowa high school students and emphasize the growing role of agricultural processing in today’s economy and explain how it adds value to grains and provides jobs.

A total of 54 Iowa FFA chapters submitted applications, according to Aaron Putze, director of communications for the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa FFP coordinator.

“The tremendous response to this program is an indication of the growing interest there is in FFA, food production and ag-related careers,”?Putze said. “We look forward to working with grant recipients to implement their successful programs.”

The Iowa Food & Family Project unites Iowans in conversations about good food and the farmers who grow it through personal engagement and advocacy. It involves more than 30 partners including the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Beef Industry Council, Machine Shed Restaurant, Iowa Pork Producers Association and Farm Credit Services of America.

The Iowa FFP serves as Presenting Sponsor of the Iowa Games and supporter of Live Healthy Iowa.

It is funded in part by the soybean checkoff.

DuPont Pioneer, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, visit www.dupont.com.

The Iowa FFA Foundation (www.iowaffafoundation.org) builds partnerships with individuals and businesses to provide support for agricultural education. It serves as an advocate to stimulate, promote and strengthen the young people of Iowa, who will ultimately lead the next generation of agriculture, by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

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