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Cargill awards $3.15 million grant to the National FFA Organization
INDIANAPOLIS – Cargill awarded a three-year grant of $3.15 million to the National FFA Organization in support of its commitment to shape future agriculture leaders.
The grant supports a variety of National FFA Organization programs and events during the three-year period (from 2023 to 2025), including the organization’s sustainability platform; the equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) pathway; and the Living to Serve program. During the National FFA Convention & Expo, the grant supports a booth, the rodeo and travel grants for career development event (CDE) participants. In addition, the funding supports the American FFA Degree and the American Star Awards.
Cargill’s grant also supports programs that encourage the exploration of career pathways in agriculture. This includes AgExplorer and two career pathways – Food Products and Processing and Animal Systems. In 2024, the grant will also support the Next Gen Conference, which is focused on food, processing and products. The conference will be June 25-29, 2024, in Minneapolis, Minn.
During its first year, the Cargill grant has significantly impacted FFA. In the fall 2023 semester, funding helped FFA members, non-FFA members and adults complete 77,678 hours of service through projects funded by yearlong Living to Serve grants. It also supported 619 FFA members who participated in national competitive events related to the Food Products and Processing career pathway and 1,600 members who participated in Animal Systems competitive events.
Additionally, funds provided 14 travel grants to CDE participants to enable them to compete at the 96th National FFA Convention & Expo. The grant also helped fund the State Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Collaborative, which helps state FFA associations create and implement EDI plans. The 2022-23 cohort involved nine states, and 14 states are part of the 2023-24 cohort.
National FFA and Cargill look forward to continued partnership to ensure even greater impact in the remaining two years of the grant.
“We are honored to receive this grant from Cargill,” said Molly Ball, president of the National FFA Foundation and chief marketing officer of the National FFA Organization. “Throughout our partnership, Cargill has been unwavering in its support and continues to see the potential leaders in our members and advisers. This grant allows us to reach more members and continue providing new opportunities that help feed the talent pipeline.”
Rob Stewart, director of growth ventures and emerging markets for Cargill’s North American protein business, said, “Cargill is grateful for the opportunity to continue our partnership with the FFA, which spans more than 60 years. Together, we’re able to convene the best and brightest young minds to create awareness and enthusiasm for diversity, equity and inclusion as well as sustainability programming to ensure a stronger future for the agriculture industry and our world.”