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Spotlight on Youth - April 19, 2017
CountryMark helps FFA State Officers travel to banquets
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana FFA State Officer Team will visit nearly 60 FFA chapters over the course of the next few months serving as the guest speaker at their annual banquets. CountryMark is honored to serve as the officer team’s annual travel sponsor, giving them the opportunity to share the FFA vision for leadership across the state of Indiana. “CountryMark shares a great passion for developing the next generation of leaders with the Indiana FFA Organization,” said Matt Smorch, vice president of supply and marketing at CountryMark. “So it is a natural partnership for us to help support the Indiana FFA by helping to sponsor the state officer team to travel, connect and inspire hundreds of young Indiana FFA members each spring.”
A list of Indiana FFA chapter banquets where the state officers will speak is on the CountryMark website (shortcut:
TSC customers donate $731,000 to FFA Foundation
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Tractor Supply Co. and the National FFA Foundation partnered for the second year to back student-driven agriculture projects that will benefit their communities and FFA chapters. This year, Grants for Growing raised a record $731,000 for these impressive projects.
Tractor Supply Co. awarded 316 Grants for Growing to FFA chapters that 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.
During National FFA Week, Feb. 17-26, 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, In Greer, S.C., 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. For more details about the program, visit
BASF, commodity associations award agriculture scholarships
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — BASF, in partnership with industry-leading commodity associations, awarded academic scholarships to 12 passionate and motivated agriculture students. Along with the American Soybean Assoc. (ASA), National Sorghum Producers (NSP), the National Corn Growers Assoc. (NCGA) and the National Wheat Foundation (NWF), BASF presented the scholarships to recipients during a ceremony at the 2017 Commodity Classic tradeshow in San Antonio. Clare Sollars of Washington Court House, Ohio, was selected as the 2017- 2018 ASA Soy scholarship recipient. Clare will pursue a bachelor’s degree in food engineering at The Ohio State University’s College of Agriculture and College of Engineering.
Students awarded the first-ever National Sorghum Foundation – BASF Scholarship were Abigail Arthaud of Keyes, Okla., a senior at Oklahoma State University studying agricultural communication, and Cody Nedbalek of College Station, Texas, a graduate student at Texas A&M University studying biological and agricultural engineering.
NCGA – BASF William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarships of $1,000 were awarded to Izak Christensen of Ames, Iowa, a concurrent undergraduate and graduate student at Iowa State University studying agricultural business and agronomy and pursuing a master’s degree in business administration; Jose Rodrigo Mendoza Jimenez of Guatemala City, Guatemala, a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying food science and technology; Kelsey Barnes of College Station, Texas, a graduate student at Texas A&M University studying international agriculture;
Michael Tupper of Ionia, Iowa, a junior at Iowa State University studying agricultural engineering; and Rachel Stevens of Falls City, Neb., a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying mechanized systems management.
Recipients of the National Wheat Foundation Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship were Carmen Swannack of Lamont, Wash., a junior at Washington State University studying agricultural biotechnology; Kayla Beechinor of Walla Walla, Wash., a freshman at Washington State University studying agricultural biotechnology and field crop management; Matthew Klopfenstein of Haviland, Ohio, a sophomore student at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, pursuing a degree in biological and agricultural engineering; and Travis Born of Ferris, Texas, a sophomore at Texas A&M University-Commerce studying agricultural sciences.
BASF, ASA, NSP, NCGA, and NWF are committed to fostering the next crop of talented agriculture students, thereby providing generations of critical growth in our industry. For more information about the industry initiatives BASF supports, visit
Top FFA food science CDE teams attend 2017 IPPE
TUCKER, Ga. — As part of the USPOULTRY Foundation’s ongoing initiative to promote careers in the poultry and egg industry, the top nine finishing teams of the National FFA Food Science and Technology Career Development Event (CDE) and their advisors were invited to the 2017 International Poultry Expo (IPE), part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Ga.
This was the USPOULTRY Foundation’s first invitation to the Food Science and Technology CDE teams. The opportunity was made possible by endowing Foundation gifts from Cargill and Prestage Farms. Combined with the FFA Poultry Evaluation CDE teams, who were also in attendance, more than 70 FFA student leaders and their advisors participated in the IPE.
The following Food Science and Technology CDE teams attended the 2017 IPPE and are listed in their order of finish: Windum FFA, Minnesota; Florence FFA, Texas; Somonauk-Leland- Sandwich FFA, Illinois; Lincoln Middle FFA, Arkansas; Hermiston FFA, Oregon; Cambridge FFA, Idaho; Richland 44 FFA, North Dakota; Wamogo Regional FFA, Connecticut; and Lawton FFA, Oklahoma.
“Food science and technology will be the keys that unlock our ability to nourish the world’s population in a safe, responsible and sustainable way as it increases to nine billion by 2050,” said John Niemann, leader of Cargill’s turkey and cooked meats business, FFA Foundation member and a former Kansas state FFA officer. “Career development events, such as this one at the International Poultry Expo, showcase the extraordinary talent of young leaders who will be responsible for the future of food production that helps farm communities, consumers and
the world thrive.”