EAST LANSING — The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture’s #SpeakAgMichigan award honored eight FFA chapters with a total of $5,000 during the Michigan FFA Convention, March 7 at Michigan State University. Chapters recognized are working to help their community become more agriculturally literate, to have a basic understanding of raising plants and animals for food, fuel and fiber.
Collectively, award recipients taught agriculture-based lessons to more than 6,000 students in their local school districts. These high school FFA members set goals, communicated with elementary teachers, planned and delivered grade-appropriate lessons or educational stations to show the many ways agriculture products are present in daily life. In addition, these award recipients organized agriculture and natural resources educational programming for more than 5,000 adults.
The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture’s mission is to communicate agriculture’s message to consumers and students through educational programming and to provide leadership development for agriculturalists of today and tomorrow. Inspired by National FFA’s similar initiative, the #SpeakAgMichigan award is more than just a social media trend, it can be a language used to close the gap between agriculture and consumers.
“Through the planning and execution of these programs, FFA members involved are not only learning how to educate younger students, they are also gaining valuable leadership development skills,” said Deb Schmucker, director of the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture. “This award builds a connection between our Foundation and FFA members who are the future of our industry. We want to connect with them now to show them the opportunities our Foundation has to offer as they continue their involvement in agriculture.”
Chapters receiving #SpeakAgMichigan award received a monetary contribution to further their agricultural literacy outreach efforts.
2018 #SpeakAgMichigan Award Recipients:
- 1st place ($1,000) — Lapeer County A.M. FFA for elementary education programming and summer camp at their greenhouse and animal learning center, community outreach at the county fair and Project Raising Hope partnership with Lapeer County Special Education programs.
- 2nd place ($750) — Springport FFA for Harvestfest, K-5th grade pollinator educational programming and third grade outreach through the Jackson County Project RED (Rural Education Day.)
- 3rd place ($750) — Ubly FFA for March is Reading Month elementary outreach and grow your own food elementary gardening lessons.
- 4th place ($500) — North Huron FFA for fourth and fifth grade broiler chicken and community garden lesson series as well as first and second grade tower gardens.
- 5th place ($500) — Ravenna FFA for Farm Days elementary school educational event.
- 6th place ($500) — Webberville FFA for Agstravaganza agricultural field day for elementary students.
- 7th place ($500) — Alma FFA for sixth grade plant science lessons, first grade soil, plant and nutrition lessons, and Luce Road Elementary field day event.
- 8th place ($500) — Montcalm FFA for “All Things Agriculture” community educational event focused on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program and the Quality Deer Management Program.
The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, positively contributes to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.
The Michigan FFA Association is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
For more information about the #SpeakAgMichigan award, contact Amelia Miller, Michigan Farm Bureau Education Specialist, 517-679-5688 or Tonia Ritter, Michigan Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Manager, 517-679-5345.