Sunday, March 23, 2014
Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA Foundation recently announced the results of their second annual Growing Scholars program. From February 14-23, Tractor Supply customers across the country donated $447,671, an increase of more than 20 percent from 2013 donations. This year's donations will result in 334 scholarships awarded to FFA members in their pursuit of a college degree.
The Growing Scholars program was supported nationally by each of the more than 1,245 Tractor Supply stores as part of National FFA Week. Tractor Supply customers supported local FFA chapters and their members by purchasing an FFA emblem for $1 at store registers during the checkout process. Ninety percent of funds raised are being utilized to fund scholarships for FFA members, with the remaining 10 percent benefitting state FFA organizations.
“We have very loyal and giving customers, and to see an increase in support for our Growing Scholars program is a tribute to the kind of customers that shop at our stores,” said Tractor Supply President and CEO Greg Sandfort. “Being able to provide scholarships to FFA members and funding for state FFA organizations is tremendous because they are a part of Tractor Supply, both as customers and as potential team members. They share the same values and lifestyle that Tractor Supply supports.”
The National FFA Foundation selected FFA members across the United States to receive the scholarships. To be eligible for a scholarship, students must have been current FFA members and either a high school senior or a freshman, sophomore or junior college student seeking a two- or four-year degree or other specialized training program. Major areas of study were also considered when determining scholarship recipients.
“We are thrilled with the results of the second annual Growing Scholars program,” said National FFA Foundation President Molly A. Ball. “We are very thankful for Tractor Supply's continued support of FFA and the efforts of its customers to give our youth a chance to grow.”
In addition to the Growing Scholars program, Tractor Supply and the National FFA Foundation have many other joint initiatives, including the FFA horse evaluation career development event, National FFA Week and the annual National Association of Agricultural Educators Conference. At an individual store level, Tractor Supply continually hosts fundraising events and works closely with local FFA chapters and high school agriculture advisors to provide resources and leverage synergies.
“Local high school agricultural advisors and FFA chapters feel at home in their local Tractor Supply stores,” said John Wendler, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “These groups often host fundraising events at our stores to raise money for community projects, like building a school greenhouse, a new bridge in a public park or an animal care lab. Our stores also work with local FFA members to support specific programs and proficiencies by providing demonstrations from knowledgeable Tractor Supply employees and our vendor partners, which brings significant value to both organizations.”
Tractor Supply has been a sponsor of the National FFA Foundation for 28 years. 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 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.