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FFA to receive largest gift in CHS Foundation history

The CHS Foundation is making a $4.3 million commitment to National FFA over the next three years, the largest gift in the foundation’s 75-year history. The grant will help fund FFA programs in 17 states, provide scholarships for attending conferences and contests, introduce students from all backgrounds to ag careers through the workforce development program, and support the National Association of Ag Educators in attracting ag teachers and building strong teaching programs.

“We have been a long-time supporter of FFA because it is the number-one organization dedicated to developing the next generation of ag leaders,” says Megan Wolle, senior director, CHS stewardship. “The future of the cooperative system and the entire ag industry depends on having a strong talent pipeline. Our increased commitment will help FFA elevate and expand its amazing work with ag educators and students.”

Tanner Peterson, an ag teacher and FFA advisor, is a prime example of how FFA changes students’ lives for the better and inspires young people to pursue ag careers. View a video about Peterson’s experience with FFA.

“As a kid, I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I did get involved in FFA. It helped me become the best version of me that I could become, and it sparked my interest to become an ag teacher,” he says.

“I love that FFA provides opportunities to learn about the different aspects of agriculture,” says Peterson, who competed as a youth in many FFA contests, including livestock judging, dairy judging, land judging, agronomy, ag sales, ag marketing and more. “I incorporate a lot from FFA into my curriculum. The hands-on learning really changes kids. It shows them that you don’t have to be a farm kid to become part of the future of agriculture.”

This year, two of Peterson’s student teams at Tri-Valley High School in Colton, S.D., advanced to the national FFA competition.

“There’s no better feeling than seeing these kids start out knowing nothing about a particular area of agriculture, and they don’t believe in themselves, and then their hard work pays off and they’re competing at the state and national level. That’s the gift that the CHS Foundation really helps a kid achieve,” says Peterson.

In addition to South Dakota, the CHS Foundation grant will support state FFA programs in Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Read the full news announcement.