At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 17: National FFA Foundation
Anyone who grew up going to school in rural Indiana knows the FFA. This is the organization whose aim it is to create the Future Farmers of America – this also happens to be their abbreviation. While the National FFA Organization’s headquarters is in Virginia, their Foundation is located right here in Indianapolis, making it one of the premier agricultural non-profits in the state.
The Foundation wing of the National FFA uses its resources and knowledge to raise money for the FFA groups throughout the country. They are one of the main reasons why the FFA is able to educate both students and teachers on the importance of an agricultural education. Through funding from the Foundation, the FFA sets up Hoosiers with the skills and expertise needed to launch a burgeoning career in the farming industry. Once these individuals go on to fulfill the career of their dreams, they often come back to become alumni and help other students and teachers do the same.
There are a number of ways to contribute to the Foundation, some of which are both fun and unique. How about this: Next time you go to your local BMV for a new license plate, why not choose the FFA plate. The money raised from this purchase goes into the License Plate Scholarship Fund which gets handed out to students each year at the Indiana FFA State Convention. The Indiana FFA Country Market is another annual fundraising event. Taking place at the State Fair Grounds, this massive market sees a ton of good ol’ Indiana-made products such as apple cider, soy candles, preserves and even ice cream. The Farm Progress Show is yet another great event the FFA Foundation hosts to bring in money for their cause. Taking place every other year, this joint venture between Indiana and Illinois uses auctions to sell agriculture tires, such as the ones used for tractors and other farm equipment, the proceeds from which are split between the two states’ respective FFA Foundations. Recently, in another collaborative venture, Indiana Farm Bureau donated a whopping $25,000 in matching funds to the Foundation’s Pay It Forward campaign. This was launched to help pay off the mortgage of the Indiana FFA Leadership Center in Trafalgar, allowing the center to continue its goal of agricultural education for many years to come.
As they say, “When you make a gift to the National FFA Foundation, you are investing in the future of agriculture…” This pretty well sums of the entire Foundation. Through donations come better farmers, and with better farmers comes a more prosperous and sustainable state. This is the FFA’s goal. Some say that the local agriculture industry is losing out to large corporations, but the FFA Foundation is here to tell you that family farming in Indiana is here to stay!