RFD-TV makes record $1 million cash donation to National FFA Organization

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CONTACT
Duane Brodt
Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization
DBrodt@FFA.org
317-802-4351

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, July 27, 2012/National FFA Foundation) — A record-setting, unrestricted cash contribution of $1 million was given to the National FFA Foundation Thursday by RFD Communications.

Patrick G. Gottsch, founder and president of Omaha, Neb.-based RFD Communications, presented the donation to National FFA President Ryan Best at the FFA State Presidents’ Conference at the U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“When RFD-TV was launched in December 2000, our stated mission and charter was dedicated to serving the needs and interests of rural America," Gottsch said. "Our association with FFA has been such a rewarding experience and contributed much to the success now being realized at RFD-TV. We are so proud to be in a position to raise our level of support for the FFA, and we hope this contribution will encourage others to take note of the National FFA's outstanding track record with youth and the importance of investing in our future.”

The National FFA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization, which provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through 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. Since its inception in 1944, the foundation has raised more than $216 million to support FFA and agricultural education.

“This gift will provide FFA members with enhanced access to leadership programs, assist in efforts to establish new chapters and encourage new students to join FFA and support initiatives such as the Agricultural Career Network connecting students to career opportunities in agriculture,” said Best, an agricultural education major at New Mexico State University. “RFD-TV has demonstrated through its actions that FFA is valued.”

RFD-TV/Rural TV has been a major sponsor of the National FFA Foundation since 1988, providing funding for live telecasts of the National FFA Convention & Expo and weekly programming about FFA.

“Gifts to the foundation translate directly into educational opportunity for agriculture students, their communities and American agriculture,” said Rob Cooper, executive director of the National FFA Foundation. “RFD-TV is part of a very special group of sponsors whose significant contributions underscore their confidence in the importance of this program to their industry and our nation.”

“The support from RFD-TV will make major educational opportunities available for our students to grow as they learn about the science, business and technology of agriculture,” said Dr. Dwight Armstrong, chief executive officer of the National FFA Organization. “These are the young people who will help feed a world population projected to grow from 6.2 billion to 9 billion by the year 2050. They are the ones to put an end to hunger and malnutrition, both at home and abroad. And they will ensure we meet the needs for food, fiber and renewable energy in sustainable ways that preserve our precious natural resources.”

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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. Approximately 82 percent of all sponsorship funding received by the foundation supports opportunities for FFA members and agricultural education. For more, visit the National FFA Foundation at http://www.FFA.org/donate.

About the National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization 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 at http://www.FFA.org.

About RFD-TV
RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television channel dedicated to servicing the needs and interests of rural America with programming focused on agriculture, equine and rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. The channel is distributed to more than 41 million homes worldwide by DBS and cable systems including DISH Network (231), DIRECTV® (345), Comcast, Verizon FiOS TV (247), Mediacom, Charter, Optimum, Brighthouse, Suddenlink, Time Warner, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. The bi-monthly RFD-TV The Magazine has more 180,000 paid subscribers, and the company operates RFD-TV The Theatre in Branson, Mo. For more information, visit www.rfdtv.com.

About Rural TV
Rural TV is a multimedia agribusiness and rural lifestyle network dedicated to educating and entertaining the growing global population while maintaining a strong link with traditional country enthusiasts and those in professional agricultural industries. Launched in 2012 by the creators of RFD-TV, Rural TV features primetime news broadcasts focused on agribusiness and rural policy issues; weather; world commodity market updates; extensive event coverage; international trade, farm and horse shows; expanded livestock auctions; equipment and ranch reports; plus independent productions designed to give agricultural professionals and hobbyists information to fit every interest and operation. RURAL TV debuted on DISH Network channel 232 as part of the AT-250 and Heartland Package to approximately 14 million U.S. homes and is available for worldwide distribution on DBS, cable, IPTV and mobile services. Together, Rural TV and RFD-TV reach 55 million homes. Corporate headquarters are in Omaha, Neb., and production operations are in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.myruraltv.com.