$30,000 in grants available to ND classrooms to promote agriculture

 Thomas Winders, Sponsor & Program Director for the ND FFA Foundation, sits in front of this year’s Ag in the Classroom online application.  The program will distribute thousands of dollars to applicants who highlight how they can or what they are doing to promote agriculture in a K-12 North Dakota classroom. 

The North Dakota FFA Foundation (ND FFA Foundation) will be giving $500 mini-grants to educators, teachers or organizations to promote agriculture in North Dakota classrooms.  The mini-grants are made possible through a grant received by the ND FFA Foundation from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.  The program, called Ag in the Classroom, was designed to bring agriculture to all types of K-12 classrooms and learning environments.  The announcement makes this the 16th consecutive year the ND FFA Foundation has been able to provide these grants.

To encourage the continuation of programming, curriculum and lesson planning, the ND FFA Foundation will give these mini-grants through two separate academic years.  Roughly $12,000 will be given for the academic year of 2019-2020.  Applications will also be available in September of 2020 for this year’s recipients and others to apply for new or additional funding for the 2020-2021 academic year.

“This is one of my favorite programs the ND FFA Foundation offers,” says Thomas Winders, newly hired Sponsor & Program Director for the Foundation.  “$12,000 being given in grants this year translates to 24 classrooms and environments right here in North Dakota that are going to be learning about the powerful industry of agriculture.”

Past grant applicants have included elementary teachers, high school teachers, 4-H leaders, and FFA advisors.  The funding can be used for supplies, curriculum, printing, materials, food-based projects, equipment, and technology.  All applications targeting young people (K-12) to enhance student knowledge of the contributions made by agriculture will be considered. However, proposed projects or events designed to reach large groups of these students will be given preference. 

“I’ve had the opportunity of helping facilitate these grants in past years,” says Andrew Young, Interim Executive Director of the Foundation.  Young explains past applications have not only been diverse in regard to organizations and individuals who have applied, but through their programming and intentions to use the funding. “We’ve gotten to review applications for schools who wanted to expand their aquaculture programs and learning facilities, I’ve seen applications for schools to test fruit production and more.”

Applications for Ag in the Classroom grants to be used in the 2019-2020 academic year are due October 1st.  The online application can be found on the ND FFA Foundation’s website NDFFAFoundation.com (or by directly visiting ndffa.co/agintheclassroom).