BRENTWOOD, TN--(Marketwired - April 03, 2017) - In support of the next generation of agricultural leaders, Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA Foundation partnered for the second consecutive year to back student-driven agriculture projects that will benefit their communities and FFA chapters for years to come. This year Grants for Growing raised a record $731,000 for these impressive projects.
Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States, awarded 316 Grants for Growing to FFA chapters which requested funding for a wide variety of sustainable projects. From greenhouses to aquaculture labs and much more, the grants will be used to purchase supplies such as vegetation, trees, seed, chickens, feed, mulch and tools.
"Tractor Supply customers and team members are proud to support Grants for Growing and the FFA because they truly believe an investment in agriculture education is an investment in our communities," said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply Company.
Between Jan. 10 and Feb. 13, the National FFA Foundation received more than 800 applications from FFA chapters across the country detailing how they will start or expand a unique and sustainable project. During National FFA Week, Feb. 17 through Feb. 26, Tractor Supply hosted a 10-day in-store event nationwide that offered shoppers the opportunity to donate $1 or more at checkout in support of the program.
Many FFA chapters participated in additional fundraising opportunities at their local Tractor Supply stores. Students greeted customers and held their own promotional events, including bake sales, car washes and more.
In Greer, South Carolina, the Blue Ridge High FFA chapter received donations to help run a two-day educational and interactive event where members offer instruction about farm animal care, lead competitions such as a tractor pull, and host a community plant sale. In Saratoga Springs, Utah, the local FFA chapter will use Grants for Growing funds to develop a small orchard and apiary. The produce and honey harvested from the orchard will be used in school cafeterias throughout the district.
"The Grants for Growing applications we received this year proved that FFA advisors across the country are tuned into the specific needs of their schools and community FFA chapters," said Lisa White, director of store marketing at Tractor Supply Company. "We can't wait to see what creative projects and fresh ideas FFA chapters will imagine for next year's program."
For more details about the program, visit https://www.ffa.org/grantsforgrowing.
About Tractor Supply Company
Founded in 1938, Tractor Supply Company is the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States. At December 31, 2016, the Company operated 1,595 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website at www.tractorsupply.com. Tractor Supply stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers and others who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The Company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, livestock, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware, truck, towing and tool products; (3) seasonal products, including heating, lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys; (4) work/recreational clothing and footwear; and (5) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.
Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer focused on meeting the needs of pet owners, primarily in small and mid-size communities, and offering a variety of pet products and services. At December 31, 2016, the Company operated 143 Petsense stores in 26 states. For more information on Petsense, visit www.petsense.com.
About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 649,355 student members as part of 7,859 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 local FFA Alumni chapters throughout the U.S. 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, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.
About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.
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