National FFA Organization chooses 74 chapters for local environmental grants

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CONTACT
Geoffrey Miller
National FFA Organization
317-802-4217
gmiller@ffa.org

Nationwide grant program supports local chapters to engage in service-learning projects

INDIANAPOLIS (August 30, 2012) – FFA chapters in 27 states and Puerto Rico that developed a plan to tackle an environmental issue in their communities now have the funding from a national grant to bring their ideas to life.

Chapters from 74 communities learned recently that they received up to $2,000 in a grant from the National FFA Organization's Living to Serve: Environmental Grant program and will begin their yearlong environmental project when the school year resumes. The Living to Serve: Environmental 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 issues of environmental nature. One grant recipient chapter, the Wilson FFA Chapter in Wilson, Kan., has plans to increase the output of a local recycling program by 50 percent. They intend to educate the community with recycling awareness, as well as purchase and placing new recycling bins around the school. The FFA members will be tasked with maintaining the program and collecting recycled materials.

Another recipient of the LTS: Environmental Grant program was Connecticut’s Bloomfield FFA Chapter at the Harris Agriscience and Technology Center. FFA members there intend to tackle an invasive species – the Asian Longhorned Beetle – that is attacking local trees. Their program intends to first educate the local community about the insect via four community workshops, establish a student-run blog that explains the problem to fellow students and also survey 20 percent of their town’s trees to inspect for signs the beetles. The data will then by shared with the USDA to help slow or stop the beetle infestation. The National FFA Organization makes grant funds available for FFA chapters to develop service-learning projects that impact environmental issues in their community. Chapters may apply for up to $2,000 to support yearlong service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing projects that address local environmental needs. The service-learning method challenged members to identify, research, develop and implement solutions to needs within their school or community.

These projects illustrate the final line of the FFA motto ("Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve") by encouraging FFA members to unite in service within their communities. The LTS: Environmental Grants take community service one step further to service-learning, which provides a meaningful way to apply leadership and education skills learned in school and FFA. More info about the grants is available online at http://www.ffa.org/LTSgrants.

List of Enviro Grantees

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About CSX
CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members as part of 7,489 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.