CLOVERDALE -- Thousands of FFA members from hundreds of FFA chapters in 12 states have finished a huge effort to connect with local farmers and business owners. Twenty-two FFA chapters in Indiana have been named state winners with Cloverdale taking the lead.
The Cloverdale FFA Chapter received 283 votes from local farmers to receive top honors statewide in the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge. The chapter will receive a $2,500 FFA certificate of credit, which will be used toward FFA-related costs, including chapter supplies, registration fees for national leadership conferences and other items.
After a successful pilot program last year, FFA and Monsanto decided to bring back the program while expanding to 12 states. The program challenged FFA members to meet farmers in their local communities in hopes of building relationships and learning about different agricultural careers. Farmers were then asked to vote for the chapter online.
"The mission of FFA goes beyond farming but its heart will always be in creating new generations of leaders who understand agriculture and small communities," said Linda Arnold, Monsanto customer outreach lead. "Monsanto is proud to partner with the National FFA Foundation to help local chapters create that bond with the people who grow our food and build our communities."
Voting for the challenge ran Jan. 16-Feb. 29. More than 10,000 votes were cast nationally during the final week of the competition. The top chapter in each of the 12 states received a $2,500 FFA certificate, while chapters ranked second through tenth received credits worth $1,000-2,000.
South Putnam was also rewarded for its efforts with a $1,000 FFA certificate for coming in seventh overall.
The National FFA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization, which provides agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades seven through 12 throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. About 82 percent of all sponsorship dollars received by the foundation support FFA members and agricultural education.