Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA Organization are supporting Tennessee’s next generation of agricultural leaders through the third annual Grants for Growing program. This year, Tennessee Tractor Supply stores raised $31,500 through customer donations to fund local, youth-led agriculture projects made possible by the initiative.
Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, awarded 13 grants to Tennessee FFA chapters that requested funding to build or enhance sustainable educational projects that will further their students’ understanding of agriculture. In Tennessee, the grants will help fund a wide variety of projects including an animal science barn, student veterinary learning hospital and a 3-D printing sustainability project.
“Grants for Growing not only allows us to invest in Tennessee communities, but also invest in Tennessee youth who are the future of the agriculture industry,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “This program gives students hands-on learning experience as they watch their ideas turn their communities into stronger, more sustainable places.”
Between January 10 and February 14, FFA received nearly 600 applications from FFA chapters across the country detailing how they would start or expand a unique and sustainable project. This year, Tractor Supply awarded grants to more than 270 FFA chapters nationwide. Coinciding with National FFA Week, Tractor Supply hosted a 10-day in-store fundraising event nationwide, which offered shoppers the opportunity to donate at checkout in support of the program. The fundraiser collectively raised a record-breaking $830,000 for National FFA Foundation. Many FFA chapters participated in additional fundraising opportunities at their local Tractor Supply stores to supplement donations, including bake sales, car washes and more.
Since the program’s start in 2016, Grants for Growing has raised more than $2.2 million for the National FFA Organization. In total, the initiative has funded 994 grants supporting projects involving more than $103,000 students.