Last August, twenty corporate sponsors challenged Nebraska’s FFA members to raise $250,000 at the local level. The results are in and Nebraska’s FFA chapters rose to the challenge. The “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign educates the public on the importance of agricultural education in Nebraska’s schools through an educational marketing campaign and serves as a fundraising campaign to grow the capacity of Nebraska FFA at both the state and local levels.
Twenty corporate partners participated in the 2014-15 campaign providing funds to develop the campaign, fund the educational marketing piece and provide $24,000 in matching funds for Nebraska’s FFA chapters.
“The beauty of this campaign it gives a local FFA advisor the opportunity to ask for a tax-deductible donation to do things they couldn’t otherwise afford. It also helps them develop a group of community supporters,” says Stacey Agnew, Executive Director of the Nebraska FFA Foundation.
“We’re seeing some really cool initiatives in our FFA chapters.” Dana Hall, McCool Junction agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, is working with her community to develop a live animal lab for her school. “Clayton Real was a former student of mine, who passed away last year while attending UNL. His dream was for hands-on learning with live animals as part of our agricultural education program.” She says the “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign really started the conversation in her community.
“It provided an outlet for us to start conversations to grow our program and I am so grateful for Kenny and Kelli Real for helping us make their son Clay’s dream a reality. I just wish Clay was here to help me with this dream of his.”
The Reals donated $15,000 through the “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign for this project. As part of this statewide effort, local donors select which chapter receives their donation and the entire donation and a portion of matching funds go directly to the chapter to use for innovative projects in their classrooms, leadership programming, community service projects and field trips to advance agriculture education in their schools. The annual campaign runs from August through February each year.