Early last year, Peoria, Ill.-based Keystone Steel and Wire Co., maker of Red Brand fence, launched its “Home Grown” initiative, a program to benefit FFA through its Red Brand agricultural fencing sales division. For every roll of Red Brand agricultural fencing purchased by a participating retailer, $1 is donated to a designated local FFA chapter or chapters of their choice.
In the first year, more than $100,000 was donated by Red Brand and distributed by dealers to 704 FFA chapters. On average, local FFA chapters received $400. An FFA chapter in Platte, S.D., was awarded more than $4,000.
“Red Brand’s financial support of FFA is critically important to growing and developing stronger FFA experiences for students at the local level of our organization,” said National FFA Foundation executive director Rob Cooper. “More than 500 Red Brand retailers are participating in this initiative. The initial year of Home Grown was certainly a success and we thank Red Brand for their continued commitment of FFA in 2011.”
The 2011 Home Grown program is currently under way. By stocking Red Brand agricultural fence products and supporting FFA with a $750 donation, gold-level Red Brand retailers are eligible to offer rebates of up to $200 per household on product purchases; gold-level retailers also receive an array of no-cost marketing tools they can utilize to spread the word about how the Home Grown initiative benefits FFA. Blue-level retailers participating in the program receive a host of no-cost marketing materials to promote Home Grown.
"Red Brand is continuing the tradition of excellence that our partnership with FFA has built over the past 64 years," said Doug Wright, vice president of sales and marketing at Keystone Steel & Wire. “Home Grown presents an opportunity to be involved at the local level and connect the community with FFA in a meaningful and lasting way.”
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that fund FFA activities, recognize member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agriculture education. Nearly 82 percent of all funds received by the foundation support FFA and agricultural education opportunities.
Formerly known as Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization provides agricultural education to more than 523,000 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,487 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st U.S. Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. For more, visit http://www.ffa.org.