America's Farmers Grow Ag Leaders is now launching in 40 states, with more than $500,000 worth of scholarships available. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program provides $1,500 college scholarships to students pursuing a degree related to agriculture. High school seniors and college students can apply until Feb. 1, and farmers have until Feb. 8 to endorse their applications.
Back for a fourth year, America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is partnering with farmers to award another $2.3 million to rural school districts. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program encourages farmers to nominate their local schools districts to apply for a grant of up to $25,000 to enhance math and science education. Farmers can nominate public schools until April 1, 2015 and nominated schools have until April 15, 2015 to submit their application.
Iroquois farmer supports Loda Fire Protection District through America’s Farmers Grow Communities
– Local farmer Melvin Coulter has directed a $2,500 donation to the Loda Fire Protection District. Funded by America's Farmers Grow Communities, the donation will help the department purchase extrication equipment, specifically air lifting bags. When asked why he chose to direct the donation to the Loda Fire Protection District, Coulter explained that he was raised in the district. His father was also a charter member firefighter who volunteered for 25 years before retiring.
Thanks to the support of farmers across the country, more than $3.2 million is being directed to nonprofits in 1,289 counties in 39 states.
"It feels great to receive the donation," said Fire Chief Harold Ecker. "It's difficult for volunteer departments, we always need more money. All donations are greatly appreciated."
America's Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations like the Loda Fire Protection District, who are doing important work in their communities. The program offers farmers the chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the farmer's nonprofit of choice. The search for funding to sustain and enhance programs is a year-round job for nonprofit organizations across the country. Through America's Farmers Grow Communities, farmers have been able to support a variety of groups, such as schools, fire departments, community centers and youth organizations like 4-H and FFA.
America's Farmers Grow Communities launched in 2010, and has since donated over $13 million to more than 5,200 nonprofit organizations across the country. America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is part of the America's Farmers initiative, which highlights and celebrates the important contributions farmers like Melvin Coulter make every day.
For a complete list of Grow Communities winners and more program information, please visit growcommunities.com.
The Cissna Park and Crescent-Iroquois Ag Hall-of-Fame is a new creation this year. And the annual Cissna Park FFA Scholarship Auction today (Sat) will feature the first inductees into the Hall-of-Fame.
Today's dinner and auction is from 4-6 pm at the Cissna Park High School gym.
John Terrell (Tear-O) is FFA President. He says 15 FFA alumni will be honored...
All proceeds from the event benefit the FFA chapter.
Tyler Loschen's father is a former agriculture teacher and his mother was his agriculture teacher and FFA advisor in high school. So naturally, he believes that he was predestined to be a part of FFA.
The Illinois FFA member always had a strong desire to farm, developed no doubt from early days of playing with farm toys as a young child to spending summertime weeks with two sets of grandparents that farmed as a youth. But since his parents didn't farm, he knew that if he wanted to follow his dream, he'd have to carve his own path.
As a middle-school student, he studied livestock and became very involved in livestock judging. After joining FFA his freshman year, Loschen began a supervised agriculture experience in corn and soybean production. He eventually achieved one of his long-term goals by buying 40 acres of farmland.
Since, he has bought a combine, tractor, planter and other equipment needed to produce and harvest crops. He has made tough financial and management decisions along the way as he grows his farm's profitability and works to minimize financial risk.
"I feel very fortunate that my experiences in FFA have laid the foundation for my future," Loschen said. "I've faced the late, wet fall of 2009 and the drought of 2012. I've experienced the challenges of high feed prices and herd health issues and I have persevered. It is the result of these challenges that drive my passion for production agriculture while providing food for an ever-growing population."
Tyler Loschen was honored Saturday 10/2/13 with the prestigious FFA American Star Farmer award.
Loschen was a 2013 finalist for an American Star Farmer award from the National FFA Organization. Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with an American Star award for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education. The award is the most prestigious honor awarded to a student by the National FFA Organization.
The American Star awards – including the American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience – are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. A required activity in FFA, a supervised agriculture experience allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization's highest level of student accomplishment. Sixteen American Star award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during convention. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award. The Stars Over America are sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services; CASE IH; DuPont Pioneer; Elanco; Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Loschen, 21, a member of the Tri-Point High School FFA chapter in Cullom, Ill., has earned a host of state and national FFA awards, including Star Farmer of Illinois, national proficiency awards in diversified agriculture, diversified crop production and chapter Greenhand and Workhorse awards. He served as president, vice president and Greenhand president of his local FFA chapter.
He is the son of Gary and Diana Loschen, who is his FFA chapter advisor.
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About National FFA Organization The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.
Officials are encouraging you to safely get rid of your old or unwanted medications today (Saturday).
The effort is a part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Select pharmacies are participating. You can drop off your old/unused medications for safe disposal. Area police and some fire departments also welcome the public to dispose of the old meds at their facilities. There's planned drop-off program today at Northfield Square Mall in Bradley. Police in Kankakee, Bradley and Bourbonnais are involved in the 'Take Back" effort.
Two locations are also available in Vermilion County: the CVS Pharmacy and county courthouse, both located on Vermilion Street.