Harlan County FFA receives Grants for Growing funding

Published 12:11 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Harlan County FFA chapter has been awarded $4,900 as part of the Grants for Growing program. The nationwide program, sponsored by Tractor Supply Company, provides grant funds to local FFA chapters to support the development or improvement of agricultural education projects that enhance the classroom experiences for students through chapter engagement activities.

Harlan County FFA plans to create a community garden at the Finley and Michael Howard Agricultural Learning Center on the campus of Harlan County High School. This project will better enable a “hands-on” style of learning, and will give students who do not have land or facilities a chance to see the plant change from seed to vegetable, and later on, death.

The program provided approximately $907,000 to FFA chapters in 49 states. Funding is provided through consumer donations made during checkout at a Tractor Supply Company store by purchasing a $1 FFA Paper Emblem. The fundraising period aligns with National FFA Week in February.

At the 90th annual Kentucky FFA State Convention, held June 11-13 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, the Harlan County FFA Chapter was recognized during the second General Session for being among the highest in chapter membership growth for the 2018-2019 school year. Harlan County FFA achieved a massive 164 percent growth percentage as reported by the Kentucky FFA Association.

Jace Howard, chapter president and Kentucky River Region FFA chaplain, and Jessica Caudill, chapter vice president, represented the county as voting delegates at the State FFA Convention. Howard served on the State Convention Committee, and they both voted on statewide FFA business in a private delegate meeting.

Jonathan Bennett, chapter secretary competed in the State Agriscience Fair. His project, “The Modern Evolution of Poultry,” was rated among those in the Animal Science Systems category.

Members who attended also networked with many agricultural businesses and colleges. Members of Harlan County High School’s FFA chapter also attended leadership workshops.

The State FFA Convention is held each year in Lexington and is attended by over 2,600 FFA members, advisors and guests. The convention includes general sessions, leadership workshops, state contests finals, the state awards program, a delegate business session, expo and a day of service.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 669,989 student members who belong to one of 8,630 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 459,514 alumni members in 2,236 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.