NEW PARIS — The National Trail MVCTC FFA Chapter has been awarded a grant designed to help the local Preble County community. The grant is provided through the Ohio FFA Foundation’s Agricultural & Rural Community Outreach Program (ARCOP) which provides support to build sustainable relationships and programs which will benefit Ohio communities for years to come.
Originally introduced in 2013, ARCOP grants allow Ohio FFA chapters to apply for funding that aid community development projects. These FFA chapter ARCOP projects often benefit rural residents and have a long-term impact on the community, either economically or through an improved quality of life. Participating FFA chapters will work in collaboration with other local organizations to complete these projects which will cover agricultural topics with an emphasis on decreasing food insecurity, getting fresh foods to communities or helping farm to school efforts.
The Human Resource Committee members noticed the local food pantries were in need of extra assistance during the Thanksgiving holiday when Preble County schools are closed . Operation Blazers Bountiful Harvest is an activity which encourages FFA members to educate kindergarten and first grade students where their food comes from in four hands-on activities. Additionally, the project promotes the general welfare in their local communities by putting together two casserole meals for 500 families in Preble County, complete with all ingredients, instructions, recipes and fresh produce that is raised by the elementary students.
After FFA Chapter advisors submitted project proposals to the Ohio FFA Foundation, a total of 12 grants were awarded. The recipients included A.B. Graham Ohio Hi Point FFA, Aiken FFA, Allen East FFA, Bio-Med Science Academy FFA, Clyde FFA, Fairfield FFA, Marysville FFA, National Trail-MVCTC FFA, Ridgewood FFA, Talawanda-Butler Tech FFA, Versailles FFA, and Zane Trace FFA.
The grant projects will be completed between July 2022 and April 2023.
The ARCOP program is a partnership between the Ohio FFA Foundation and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
“FFA is an exemplary organization that gives back to the community and is grooming today’s students to be future leaders of Ohio,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “The Ohio Department of Agriculture is proud to support these outstanding FFA chapters and projects that will keep agriculture in the forefront and will help local communities across the state.”