National FFA Week is a time for FFA members to raise awareness about the role the National FFA Organization plays in the development of agriculture's future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.
This year, the week kicks off on Feb. 16 and culminates on Feb. 23. National FFA Week always runs Saturday to Saturday and encompasses Feb. 22, George Washington's birthday. The annual recognition began in 1948. FFA began 20 years before, in 1928 and today there are nearly 670,000 FFA members across the nation.
The top school-based youth leadership development in the nation, FFA helps young people rise up to meet new agricultural challenges by helping members develop their unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways. FFA members are our future leaders, our future food-suppliers, and our future innovators.
A time to give back
National FFA Week is a time for FFA members to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities. Chapters also give back to their communities through service projects during FFA Week. A few examples:
- The Abernathy FFA in Texas will be partnering with the Hub City Outreach Center to make sidewalk chalk that will then be donated to the summer program that focuses on reaching out to at-risk youth at the center.
- In Ohio, the Ohio Valley CTC FFA chapter will be working with Adams County Soil and Water to create a program to educate students and community members on the proper disposal of used oil and fluids.
- In Iowa, the Roland-Story FFA chapter is partnering with Meals on Wheels in packaging and providing meals for the elderly who are in need.
- Peterson Academies Technology FFA is focusing on literacy during FFA Week, by teaching mothers to read to their babies at an early age. The chapter will provide pamphlets on the importance of early literacy and then will donate gently used books to the University of Florida Health to distribute at a local event.
National officers on the move
During FFA Week, the six national officers will visit chapters across the country.
Western Region Vice President Shea Booster will visit Arkansas;
Adrian Schunk, eastern region vice president, will visit West Virginia;
Ridge Hughbanks, central region vice president, will visit Iowa;
Jordan Stowe, southern region vice president, will visit South Carolina;
Layni LeBlanc, national secretary, will visit Washington; and
National FFA president Luke O’Leary will visit Connecticut.
How can you get involved?
National FFA Week is also a time for alumni and sponsors to advocate for agricultural education and FFA.
- On Feb. 19, the National FFA Foundation will celebrate Give FFA Day, a 24-hour campaign encouraging the public to support various needs impacting FFA members. If interested in giving, one can visit FFA.org/giveffaday.
- On Thursday, FFA Alumni and Supporters will celebrate Alumni Day. Friday, Feb. 22, all FFA members and supporters are encouraged to wear blue and show their FFA pride.
Donate at Tractor Supply Company
Tractor Supply customers can donate $1 or more at checkout from Feb. 13–24 while shopping in-store or online at http://www.tractorsupply.com/. Donations will fund the national Grants for Growing program, supporting hundreds of unique and sustainable agricultural projects nationwide.
“We are honored to play a role in the future of agricultural education through our partnership with local FFA chapters across the country,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply Company. “Given the generosity and support of our customers and team members, we can invest in the next generation of leaders who are making a significant difference in their local communities and beyond.”
Since the program’s start in 2016, Grants for Growing has raised more than $2.2 million for the National FFA Organization and has funded 994 grants supporting agricultural projects.
Earlier this year, FFA chapters submitted applications detailing how they will start or expand on a project that will benefit their communities as well as both current and future FFA students. Funds have been requested to purchase vegetation, trees, seed, chickens, feed, mulch and tools for projects ranging from greenhouses to aquaculture labs.
The success of the Grants for Growing program has increased with each year. In 2018, Tractor Supply was able to fully fund more projects than ever due to the support of customers from across the country. The campaign raised a record $830,000, enabling 271 grants to be awarded and impacting more than 30,000 students.
Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 will be funded in the spring based on the amount of funds raised. Donations will fund grants in the same state they were donated.
For more details about the program, visit http://www.FFA.org/grantsforgrowing.