Donors give record $16 million to National FFA Foundation in 2011

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INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011/National FFA Foundation) – Two months ago, the National FFA Organization announced a new record membership of 540,379 students thanks to more than 17,000 students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands signing up during the 2010-11 school year.

Today, the organization’s fundraising arm, the National FFA Foundation, announces it raised a record $16 million through corporate and private financial contributions to support FFA in 2011.

The foundation welcomed 40 new corporate sponsors in 2011, raising the total number to 1,212. Three new corporations combined for a $3 million gift to FFA. The foundation also drew more than 80 new companies and organizations as exhibitors at the 2011 National FFA Convention & Expo, the nation’s largest gathering of students. More than 53,350 FFA members, teachers and school administrators attended the 2011 event.

“We were well positioned in 2011 with the resources we needed to ensure our members received the ultimate FFA experience through our programs and key initiatives,” said National FFA Foundation executive director Rob Cooper. “Our core programs, including career development events, proficiencies, scholarships, award competitions and more, were funded at 90 percent – another record high. Without the commitment of our donors, it would be impossible for FFA to make a meaningful difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of students.”

Providing opportunities that help FFA members grow and succeed is the work of the National FFA Foundation. Foundation donors make possible award and recognition programs, scholarships, service learning activities, global engagement programs, national FFA convention functions, educational materials, teacher training and much more.

Created in 1944 and governed by a 19-member national board, the foundation gives companies, organizations and individuals opportunities to provide financial resources and cooperation in support of FFA programs and other agricultural education organizations. Since, the foundation has raised more than $216 million to support FFA and agriculture education.

The National FFA Organization provides agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,489 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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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, on Facebook, on Twitter and FFA Nation.