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FFA members in 12 states connecting with local farmers

FFA members in 12 states connecting with local farmers

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:00 pm

The Messenger 02.21.12

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s no secret that networking is a pivotal step toward a bright career in any industry. With that in mind — and a chance to win some substantial prizes for their FFA chapter — FFA members in 12 states are producing new connections with local farmers at an incredible rate.
Just over a month after the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge launched, 12,695 people have logged-in to to register a vote for one of 809 FFA chapters.
The individual FFA chapters are competing for some considerable prizes totaling $300,000 — with the chapter receiving the most overall votes receiving an expenses-paid trip to October’s 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. The competition is only expected to increase, with FFA members going out in force during this week’s National FFA Week ahead of the program closing on Feb. 29.
Sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, the premise of the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge is simple: members from local FFA chapters build relationships with local farmers.
The opportunity gives FFA members a chance to learn about different aspects of agricultural careers while building community awareness of their FFA chapter. Afterward, the FFA members ask the farmer to vote for their chapter to increase their chance to win.
Randy Kramer of Bird Island, Minn., is a one of the farmers who has voted for a local FFA chapter. A former FFA member himself, Kramer still serves on the chapter’s advisory committee.
“FFA had a great impact on my life, especially the parliamentary procedure, which I have used in my board activities from local to state levels,” Kramer said. “We help the advisor and students as needed and we advocate for keeping agriculture in the classroom and promoting leadership activities.”
More stories about farmers who have voted in the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge are available at
Of the 12 states eligible for this expanded second-year program, Missouri (2,287 votes) and Tennessee (2,079) are neck-and-neck for the top state honors. Indiana, Iowa, and Texas round out the top-five, ahead of Alabama, Mississippi, Illinois, Minn-esota, Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana. In the chapter contest, Boone A&M FFA in Iowa leads the pack with 460 total votes.
The top 200 FFA chapters who make the most connections and receive the most farmer votes by Feb. 29 will be awarded between $1,000 and $2,500 in FFA credit to be used for chapter supply purchases or registration fees for national FFA leadership conferences.
As a sponsor of the program, Monsanto will provide more than $300,000 in incentives.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members as part of 7,489 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs.
For more information, visit the National FFA Organization online (, on Facebook (, on Twitter ( and FFA Nation (

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