COLUMBUS, Ohio — FFA chapters across Ohio have been awarded grants designed to help their local communities. The Ohio FFA Foundation’s Agricultural & Rural Community Outreach Program (ARCOP) provides support to build sustainable relationships and programs that will benefit Ohio communities for years to come.
Originally introduced in 2013, ARCOP grants allow Ohio FFA chapters to apply for funding that aid community development projects. These FFA chapter ARCOP projects often benefit rural residents or low-income farmers and have a long-term impact on the community, either economically or through an improved quality of life. Participating FFA Chapters will work in collaboration with other local organizations to complete these projects which will cover agricultural topics varying from educational programs to awareness and promotion to economic development.
After FFA Chapter advisors submitted project proposals to the Ohio FFA Foundation, a total of 12 chapters were awarded funds ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The projects will be completed between July and the end of 2019. The ARCOP program is funded by a $45,000 grant to the Ohio FFA Foundation provided by the Ohio Department of Agriculture through the Ohio Rural Rehabilitation Fund.
FFA chapters that received foundation grants are:
The Bloom-Carroll FFA will develop the Bulldog Academic Village, which will include an outdoor classroom.
The Hillsboro FFA will be providing all 4th grade students in a district with 50 percent of students on free/reduced lunch with a bookbag filled with all of the school supplies they will need for the academic year.
The Houston FFA will be promoting agricultural literacy by learning about the maple syrup industry.
The Indian Valley FFA will raise awareness about food waste and its effect on water quality.
In an effort to clean up their community, the Miami East FFA will host a tire recycling event.
The National Trail FFA will provide 500 families with casseroles over the Thanksgiving holiday. They will also grow lettuce year-round to donate to their local food pantries.
To promote agricultural literacy, the Plymouth FFA will create educational signs to be displayed at their county fair. Their goal is to bridge the gap between producers and consumers.
The Ridgemont FFA will focus on education, advocacy and action through their program to teach students about overcoming the challenge of living in a food desert.
The Spencerville FFA will promote agriculture through literacy. The FFA members will lead story time and agricultural activities for young children at the Allen County Fair and at the Lima Public Library.
The Urbana FFA will purchase three hydroponic farm walls to grow vegetables. The food they grow will be provided to students during school lunch time. FFA members will oversee the germination, growing and harvesting of the vegetables.
The Versailles FFA will host an event for students to learn about agricultural careers.
The Zane Trace FFA will conduct several programs to encourage healthy lifestyles both through food choice and regular activity.
— Ohio FFA Foundation
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