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 17th consecutive year the ND FFA Foundation has been able to provide these grants.
To encourage the continuation of programming, curriculum and lesson planning, these mini-grants are given over the course of two separate academic years, with 2020 marking the second year for this round of funding. Roughly $13,000 will be given for the 2020-2021 academic year. Last year, $12,000 was awarded for the academic year of 2019-2020, bringing the two-year total to $25,000.
“Of all the various programs and grant opportunities the ND FFA Foundation offers, Ag in the Classroom may be my favorite,” says Jeff Hagel, Board President. “Over the past two years, we will have given $25,000 to help fuel ag. education and provide opportunities for North Dakota students that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and that is something we’re very proud of.”
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. While applications targeting young people (K-12) to enhance student knowledge of the contributions made by agriculture will be considered, proposed projects or events designed to reach large groups of these students will be given preference.
Past applications have not only been diverse in regard to organizations and individuals who have applied, but also diverse in their programming and use of the funds awarded. “In years past, we have seen everything from applicants hoping to expand their ag. ed. facilities, to applicants interested in performing tests on fruit production practices,” says Hagel.
Applications for Ag in the Classroom grants to be used in the 2020-2021 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).