The South Stokes FFA program has recently been awarded three grants and taken a first place in a Smucker’s Foodservice competition.
Teacher Susan Roudabush, who leads the program, said the FFA received $4,726 in grant funding from Carolina Farm Credit to provide livestock show equipment for the students to use while showing animals in the local, state, regional and national shows. The equipment is for cattle, sheep, and goats.
They also received a $2,500 grant as part of the FFA:Food For All program.
The nationwide program provides grant money to local FFA chapters to support year-long service-learning projects that address local hunger needs.
“We are developing gardens at South Stokes elementary feeder schools in an attempt to make students more capable of producing their own food,” said Roudabush. “It is an attempt to reduce hunger. The food produced at the gardens will then be eaten partially by the students producing it and then, the rest will be donated to the East Stokes Outreach Ministry.”
The FFA: Food For All Grants are sponsored by Donaldson Foundation, Elanco, Land O’Lakes, Nationwide Foundation, Nutra Blend, Sealed Air, Tractor Supply Company and Tyson as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The program provided nearly $360,000 to FFA chapters in 40 states and the Virgin Islands. In addition, the FFA: Food For All grant program is part of the National FFA Organization’s Hunger Home platform. More information about the program can be found at FFA.org/foodforall.
The FFA was also awarded a $500 grant from Ag in the Classroom from Farm Bureau.
“We will construct an incubator that has windows so that students can see back chicks hatch,” said Roudabush. “We will be using it at our annual Farm Animal Days in which we teach all second graders in the county the life cycle of farm animals. Farm Animal Days is April 26, 27, and 28, at the King Fair Grounds. My students do an amazing job with teaching. It is totally student planned and taught.”
She said the school has also recently received 25 root viewers, 500 packets of seed, and 500 brochures that describe the life cycle of a plant for winning first place in a competition run by Smucker’s Foodservice.
“My Advanced Agriculture students will use these items as tools when they go to the elementary school teach the plant lessons and construct the gardens,” said Roudabush. “The students will be able learn hands-on and be able to benefit from their work by being able to eat what they produce.”
She added that this week is National FFA week and Thursday is drive your tractor to school day South Stokes High School.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.