Monsanto supports FFA, funds leadership
St. Louis-based Monsanto is providing more than $850,000 in funding to the National FFA Organization in 2012 to support national student leadership conferences, educational awards, awareness campaigns and more.
The majority of Monsanto’s financial support of FFA in 2012 was behind the FFA Chapter Challenge, a competition among FFA chapters in 12 states to build relationships with local farmers that ended in March. More than 840 FFA chapters participated. Ten chapters in each state earned $2,500 each to pay for FFA supplies or costs associated with members attending national leadership conferences.
Monsanto is also sponsoring two national leadership conferences staged by FFA. The annual Washington Leadership Conference spans seven weeks during the summer and draws thousands of students from throughout the country to Washington, D.C., who learn leadership skills and perform community service. The three-day National Leadership Conference for State Officers is a summertime conference during which FFA officers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands learn advanced interpersonal communication strategies and presentation delivery techniques.
“Monsanto is a dedicated corporate supporter of the National FFA Organization’s programs and services that develop youth into tomorrow’s agricultural industry leaders,” said Rob Cooper, executive director of the National FFA Foundation. “The company is a global force in the agricultural industry and with Monsanto’s support, we can continue to grow and enhance our programs focused on students’ premier leadership, personal growth and career success.”
As special projects of the National FFA Foundation, this year Monsanto will also co-sponsor two National Association of Agricultural Education (NAAE) awards. Outstanding agricultural education programs in middle and high schools will be recognized with a 2012 Outstanding Middle or Secondary School Agricultural Education Program Award while NAAE will recognize current and retired NAAE members who have made significant contributions to agricultural education at the state, regional and national levels with an Outstanding Service Citation award.
“As a company whose only business is agriculture, Monsanto is committed to the support of educational programs that generate excitement about farming, choosing agriculture-related studies and pursuing careers in the industry,” said Monsanto’s customer advocacy lead Linda Arnold.
“FFA members represent the next generation of agriculture leaders. Whether it’s returning to the family farm or working in industry, these young people have exemplary leadership and communication skills that set them apart. We are proud to support FFA through the sponsorship of these development programs.”
Monsanto’s commitment to FFA in 2012 will also fund career development events, requirements in FFA that help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly and perform effectively in a competitive job market, and proficiency awards, which honor FFA members who have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers.
The National FFA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization, which provides agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,489 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. — WLJ