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INDIANAPOLIS

FFA chapters that developed a plan to tackle an environmental or emergency preparedness issue in their communities now have the funding from a national grant to bring their ideas to life.

Chapters from 42 communities in 26 states learned recently that they received up to $1,200 in funds from the National FFA Organization's Living to Serve: Environmental and Emergency Preparedness Grant Program and have begun their semester-long projects. The grants are provided through funding from CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

Each winning project includes plans to invest the time of FFA members, community members and local leaders in a service-learning project that tackles an environmental or emergency preparedness issue.

The Pine Valley FFA Chapter in South Dayton, N.Y., is creating a school-wide composting site from the waste collected from the school's cafeterias. Composted material will be used to fertilize community gardens and provide the district with soil amendments. The hope is that by reducing food wastes, others will see the importance of composting and start similar projects at home.

Another recipient, the South Winneshiek FFA Chapter in Calmar, Iowa, plans to create school-wide emergency preparedness kits to ensure classrooms are properly equipped with emergency and first-aid materials in the event of an emergency. They also plan to hold community workshops on how to make emergency kits.

Other chapters that have received the grants include: Clarksburg Delta FFA in Clarksburg, Calif.; Sunny Hills FFA in Fullerton, Calif.; Frank H. Peterson FFA in Jacksonville, Fla.; Hamilton County FFA in Jasper, Fla.; Mount Dora FFA in Mount Dora, Fla.; New Smyrna Beach in New Smyrna, Fla.; Clifton Ridge Middle School FFA in Macon, Ga.; Liberty County High School FFA in Hinesville, Ga.; Deary FFA in Deary, Idaho; Raft River FFA in Malta, Idaho; Mt. Vernon FFA in Mt. Vernon, Ill.; Mooresville FFA in Mooresville, Ind.; Sullivan FFA in Sullivan, Ind.; Westwood FFA in Sloan, Iowa; Mission Valley FFA in Eskridge, Kan.; West Ouachita FFA in West Monroe, La.; Frederick CTC FFA in Frederick, Md.; Middletown FFA in Middletown, Md.; Atlanta FFA in Atlanta, Mo.; Centralia FFA in Centralia, Mo.;  Johnson County Central FFA in Tecumseh, Neb.; South Johnston FFA in Four Oaks, N.C.; Northern Burlington FFA in Columbus, N.J.; Deming FFA in Deming, N.M.; Afton FFA in Afton, N.Y.; Spencer-Van Etten FFA in Spencer, N.Y.; Miami East–MVCTC FFA in Casstown, Ohio; Guymon FFA in Guymon, Okla.; Bermudian FFA in York Springs, Penn.; Darlington County Institute of Technology FFA in Darlington, S.C.; Flandreau FFA in Flandreau, S.D.; Lennox Sundstrom FFA in Lennox, S.D.; Lenoir City FFA in Lenoir City, Tenn.;Lubbock-Cooper FFA in Lubbock, Texas; Granite Mountain FFA in Salt Lake City, Utah; Broadway FFA in Broadway, Va.; James River FFA in Buchanan, Va.; Granton FFA in Granton, Wis.; and Stratford FFA in Stratford, Wis.

The National FFA Organization makes grant funds available for FFA chapters to develop service-learning projects that impact environmental or emergency preparedness issues in their community. Chapters may apply for up to $1,200 to support semester-long service-learning projects focused on local needs.

The service-learning method challenged members to identify research and develop and implement solutions to needs within their school or community.

These projects illustrate the last line of the FFA motto, “Living to Serve,” by encouraging FFA members to unite in service within their communities. These grants take community service one step further to service-learning, which provides a meaningful way to apply leadership and educational skills learned in school and FFA.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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