Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve. That is the FFA motto.
FFA chapters are teaming up with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to live out this motto through the Agricultural and Rural Community Outreach Program (ARCO P).
A joint effort among the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio FFA Association, and the Ohio FFA Foundation, Inc., ARCO P assists local FFA chapters in financing community development projects.
“The Ohio Department of Agriculture funds this program with a $38,000 grant from the Ohio Rural Rehabilitation fund to help youth improve their local communities and keep agriculture strong in Ohio,” says David T. Daniels, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director.
Chapters present proposals for grant funds from $750 to $2,500, to benefit rural communities.
In 2014, 15 schools participated in projects including the Waterford FFA chapter that introduced “Agriculture is Science Day” for 2nd and 3rd grade students.
“The program consisted of 15 stations that educated youth on science and its relationship to agriculture,” says Matthew Hartline, Waterford FFA chapter advisor. “Our FFA members felt there was a need to link agriculture and science to help elementary students’ better understand both areas, and promote agriculture literacy within our student learning community.”
More than 100 elementary students enjoyed the program, and responded with glowing feedback and thank you cards. Daniels says the program benefits all participants, including the high school FFA students.
“It’s an experience we hope keeps youth interested and involved in the agriculture industry as they look toward future careers.”