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Obion County FFA member presented with scholarship

Obion County FFA member presented with scholarship

Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 8:00 pm

The Messenger 06.11.13

Whisper Gardiner of Union City, a recent graduate of Obion County Central High School, is among a select few FFA members to receive a scholarship through the Growing Scholars program sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA Foundation.
Miss Gardiner is the daughter of John and Tina Gardiner of Union City and was a Tennessee Scholar, a Challenge Graduate and a member of National Honor Society at Obion County Central.
Tractor Supply customers across the country donated $362,324, resulting in 284 scholarships awarded to FFA members in their pursuit of a college degree. Nineteen of the 284 scholarships were awarded to Tennessee residents.
The Growing Scholars program was supported nationally by each of the more than 1,175 Tractor Supply stores Feb. 15-24 as part of National FFA Week. Tractor Supply customers supported local FFA chapters and their members by purchasing an FFA emblem for $1 at store registers during the checkout process.
Ninety percent of funds raised are being utilized to fund scholarships for FFA members, with the remaining 10 percent benefitting state FFA organizations.
“The amount of support we received from our customers in such a short amount of time was outstanding,” said Tractor Supply president and CEO Greg Sandfort. “Having the ability to provide scholarships to FFA members and funding for state FFA organizations is tremendous because they are a part of Tractor Supply, both as customers and as potential team members. We share the same values and lifestyle that Tractor Supply supports.”
The National FFA Foun-dation selected FFA members across the United States to receive the scholarships.
Two $1,000 grants were also awarded to select FFA chapters.
Miss Gardiner plans to study to be a veterinary technician.
To be eligible for a scholarship, students must have been current FFA members and either a high school senior or a freshman, sophomore or junior college student seeking a two- or four-year degree or other specialized training program. Major areas of study were also considered when determining scholarship recipients.
For the final report of funds raised and a list of the scholarship recipients, visit
“We are thrilled with the results of the first Growing Scholars program,” said National FFA Foundation executive director Robert K. Cooper. “We are very thankful for Tractor Sup-ply’s continued support of FFA and the efforts of its customers to give our youth a chance to grow.”
In addition to the Growing Scholars program, Tractor Supply and the National FFA Foundation have many other joint initiatives, including the FFA horse evaluation career development event, National FFA Week and the annual National Association of Agricultural Educators Conference.
At an individual store level, Tractor Supply continually hosts fundraising events and works closely with local FFA chapters and high school agriculture advisors to provide resources and leverage synergies.
“Local high school agricultural advisors and FFA chapters feel at home in their local Tractor Supply stores,” said John Wendler, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply.
“These groups often host fundraising events at our stores to raise money for community projects, like building a school greenhouse, a new bridge in a public park or an animal care lab.
“Our stores also work with local FFA members to support specific programs and proficiencies by providing demonstrations from knowledgeable Tractor Supply employees and our vendor partners, which brings significant value to both organizations,” Wendler said.


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