Eight Iowa FFA chapters have been awarded $1,500 in "Planting A Seed" grants by the Iowa Food & Family Project to conduct activities that increase agricultural awareness in their communities and interest among youth in food production and life sciences.
Clay Central-Everly School District's FFA was among the programs chosen to receive a grant.
The Clay Central-Everly FFA will 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.
The program, sponsored by DuPont Pioneer in cooperation with the Iowa FFA Foundation, also awarded grants to Boone A & M FFA; Charles City FFA; LaPorte Dysart FFA, LaPorte City; Nevada FFA; Starmont FFA, Arlington; Tri-Star FFA, Guttenberg and West Liberty FFA.
"A growing population presents challenges and tremendous opportunities for Iowa's agricultural community," Todd Frazier, DuPont Pioneer business director, said. "By nurturing the next generation of 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."