Educate Your Community & Earn Money For Your FFA Chapter

October 21, 2014 | 10:10 am

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Attention FFA Chapters and FFA Advisors: Educate Your Community & Earn Money For Your FFA Chapter. The Nutrients for Life Foundation is accepting application for the 2014-2015 Helping Communities Grow program!

The Foundation wants to partner with FFA chapters to educate the local community about the importance of crop nutrients in food production.  Fertilizer is responsible for 40-50% of the world’s food production. It is a key ingredient to reducing and even eliminating famine. Ford West, former president of The Fertilizer Institute, tells how valuable fertilizer is to humanity.

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“There are signs, though, that the day is closer than ever before when famine could be eliminated. Untold numbers of smart people are applying themselves to developing the science of crop production all around the world. Advances in crop genetics, plant health, and production technology all contribute to the ability of modern agriculture to produce more than ever before.

But, in the midst of that progress, it is still fertilizer that feeds the world. Land use, human nutrition and the carbon cycle form an intricate set of relationships. Healthy plants use carbon dioxide, give off oxygen and increase soil organic matter, thereby enhancing soil fertility. Harvesting crops removes nutrients in the form of our food, and those nutrients must be replaced to nourish the next crop. For these reasons, soil fertility and fertilizer will remain key components of feeding the world’s hungry population. Our overall standard of living is made possible largely by farmers’ work to produce abundant, high-quality, affordable food.

However, as agriculture has grown more productive, fewer people understand it. Agriculture should not become isolated from society. We cannot allow the idea that “food comes only from the supermarket” to take root. It is nearly impossible for people to make good decisions about any subject unless those decisions are informed decisions. It is incumbent upon agriculture and those who care about it to make the case for agriculture and for fertilizer, fostering an appreciation among policy makers and the general public for today’s agriculture.

There is much at stake. Without the fertilizer industry and the research that helps it fulfill its vital role, food and fiber production per acre could be reduced by as much as half.”

Isn’t that amazing? Proper crop nutrients in the form of fertilizer affect humanity and famine all around the world! Mr. West puts together a remarkable argument urging us, in agriculture, to “not become isolated from society” and share our impact through education, research and outreach.


FFA chapters, we challenge you to do just that! Learn more about this critical component of food production and then educate the local community on the role it plays in improving plant health for an abundant, affordable, and safe food supply.  The Nutrients for Life Foundation provides free science based resources and a financial reward for participating in the Helping Communities Grow program.

To participate in the Helping Communities Grow program:

  1. Download and read the entire application, including the judging rubric:
  2. Brainstorm and decide how the FFA chapter is going to learn more about fertilizer and crop nutrients.
  3. Brainstorm and decide how the FFA chapter is going to educate the community about fertilizer and crop nutrients. Identify an audience or multiple audiences to direct the education to.
  4. Identify individuals, businesses or educators to partner with to help the FFA members learn more about fertilizer and crop nutrients and to help the chapter reach the targeted audience.
  5. Order free resources and curriculum from the Nutrients for Life Foundation.
  6. Log in and complete Step 1 of the Helping Communities Grow application by the November 14 deadline.
  7. Implement the Helping Communities Grow program the FFA chapter submitted in Step 1. Document the plan with pictures, impact numbers, etc.
  8. Update the Nutrients for Life Foundation on the progress made by completing Step 2 on or before January 30 deadline.
  9. Submit the FFA chapters Helping Communities Grow program results by the Step 3 deadline.
  10. Reach out to Nutrients for Life Regional Representatives for help and advice. We are here to help.


In each sponsored state and in the At-Large category, monetary awards of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 will be awarded to the first, second and third place chapter programs, respectively. Up to twelve chapters per state and twelve chapters in the At-Large category will receive a participation award for $250. Sponsored states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio and Washington. If a state is not sponsored, FFA chapters fall into the At Large category.


Important Dates and Deadlines

Step 1: Due November 14, 2014

Step 2: Due January 30, 2015

Step 3: Nebraska: Due February 2, 2015

Iowa, Idaho, Ohio: March 27, 2015

Kansas, Washington: Due April 24, 2015

At-Large, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana: Due May 9, 2015


Upcoming events:

National FFA Convention: Booth 1313.

NAAE Convention: Workshop on Friday, November 21 from 2:30-3:45.



For more information, follow these links:

Last year’s summary of winners:

4R Nutrient Stewardship:

Fertilizer 101:

Nutrients for Life Foundation: