The Indianapolis-based National FFA Organization has received a pledge of more than $500,000 from Cargill. The Minnesota-based agricultural company says the funding will support an annual FFA training conference and the continuing development of an online initiative. September 23, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Sept. 23, 2013/National FFA Organization) – Minnesota-based Cargill has pledged more than $520,000 to support several National FFA Organization programs and initiatives.

A large portion of this corporate donation to the organization – $160,000 – will support “Blast Off,” an annual training conference for newly-elected state FFA officers that helps them identify their strengths, develop personal growth plans, master public speaking and improve management skills.

The company has also pledged $150,000 to support the organization’s continued development of its Agriculture Career Network (AgCN), an online portal that FFA members use from middle school through college and beyond to track educational accomplishments, build career portfolios, apply for awards and scholarships, pursue internships and apply for jobs.

Cargill has further committed an additional $300,000 to support AgCN over the next two years.

Contributions from the company will also help fund the expansion of the organization’s “Feeding the World-Starting at Home initiative” to fight hunger; support the staging of the 2013 National FFA Agriscience Fair, a competition hosted at the annual National FFA Convention & Expo for FFA members interested in agriculture science and technology; and sponsor two national competitions for FFA members, one focused on food science and technology and another involving meat evaluation and technology.

“Cargill is proud to be in its 53rd year as a major supporter for the National FFA Organization,” said Dirk Jones, vice president of Cargill’s ground beef and trim supply chain business and board member of National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board. “Developing young leaders is foundational to any organization’s long-term success. We believe Cargill’s support will strengthen members’ skills, engage them in the fight against hunger and provide many channels to build character, shape careers and give back to their communities.”

Employees at Cargill support their local FFA chapters, state FFA associations and the National FFA Organization by volunteering, offering expertise and mentoring members interested in pursuing careers in agriculture. At the annual National FFA Convention & Expo, employees provide hands-on leadership training and career exploration to more than 500 FFA state officers from throughout the country.

The National FFA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization, which provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 557,318 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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About National FFA Foundation

The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agriculture education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of all sponsorship dollars received by the foundation support FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit the National FFA Foundation at

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, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

About Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 140,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit and its news center.Source: National FFA Organization, Cargill

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