Missouri high school FFA chapter takes lead in 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge

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INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, April 14, 2011/National FFA Organization) – With just more than two weeks to go, a Missouri high school FFA chapter is in the lead of a seven-state competition between FFA chapters seeking to make the most connections with area farmers.
 
West Plains High School in West Plains, Mo., leads the 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge with 532 votes. Lawrence County High School in Moulton, Ala., is in second place with 432 votes. Indiana’s John Glenn High School is third with 426 votes. McDonald County High School in Anderson, Mo., is fourth with 238 votes and Ariton High School in Ariton, Ala., is fifth with 205 votes.
 
The 2010 FFA Chapter Challenge began March 7. Sponsored by Monsanto through the National FFA Foundation, the competition involves FFA chapters in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia and Alabama in the pilot program to connect local FFA chapters with their community’s farmers. FFA members must reach out to their local farmers, meet them, learn about their operations and connect with them by sharing what their FFA chapter is doing in the community. In turn, farmers are asked to go online and vote for their favorite chapter.
 
The chapter with the most votes by May 1 will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for six students and an adult advisor to the 2011 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis – valued at more than $6,500 – and a $1,500 line of credit that they can use to buy FFA-related merchandise, fund FFA activities and help pay for FFA-related costs throughout the year. The top 125 chapters participating in the competition will also receive a $1,500 line of credit. For participating, each of the seven state FFA organizations will receive a $1,500 grant.
 
Participating FFA chapters that register at www.FFAChapterChallenge.com and have at least one vote by 11:59 p.m. CST Friday will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a free FFA merchandise gift certificate. Ten $100 FFA Merchandise Gift Certificates will be awarded to winners in the drawing.
 
All winners will be announced on www.FFAChapterChallenge by May 15.
 
More than 1,700 FFA chapters and their combined 117,824 FFA members remain eligible to participate in the 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge.
 
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that fund FFA activities, recognize member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agriculture education. Nearly 82 percent of all funds received by the foundation support FFA and agricultural education opportunities.
 
Formerly known as Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization provides agricultural education to more than 523,000 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,487 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st U.S. Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. For more, visit http://www.ffa.org.
 
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About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that fund FFA activities, recognize member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agriculture education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of all sponsorship dollars received by the foundation support FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit the National FFA Foundation at http://www.ffa.org/donate.
 
About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online (http://www.ffa.org), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/nationalffa), on Twitter (http://twitter.com/nationalffa) and FFA Nation (http://ffanation.ffa.org).
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