FFA, CSX Team Up To Hit the Track at the Brickyard 400Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:30:25 CDT
Before a single engine starts on July 26, the Brickyard 400 will make history once again this year as the No. 38 FFA + CSX Living to Serve Ford becomes the first car to represent the 87-year-old, Indianapolis-based agricultural education and youth service organization, the largest of its kind with more than 610,240 student members interested in agriculture, as a primary sponsor in a NASCAR race.
"I can't think of a better place to celebrate the future of American agriculture and community service than the Brickyard 400," says David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 FFA + CSX Living to Serve Ford. "FFA members bring so much energy, commitment and service to our country. It is quite an honor to drive for them."
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecar will feature a blue, gold and white paint scheme with an FFA emblem on the hood.
CSX, the nation's third largest railroad, is one of six Platinum Sponsors for the National FFA Foundation, giving more than $1M annually since 2011. Both of the organizations make citizenship and community service top priorities with their shared "Living to Serve" partnership, which is supported by the CSX "Beyond Our Rails" program. In 2014, more than $1.77M in time was invested as part of Living to Serve and nearly 50,000 community members were served by 84 chapters in 34 states.
"Joining together at the Brickyard 400 is a great way to celebrate our partnership with CSX and continue our focus on "living to serve" in the community especially by sharing the important message of safety first," said Molly Ball, President, National FFA Foundation.
The two organizations work together on a number of initiatives to improve leadership, development, service-learning and environmental stewardship, including the following:
-- Living To Serve Environmental Grants (Up to $2,000 to chapter for an environmental service project the provides FFA members the tools to make a difference in their local communities around 70 of these per year are awarded)
-- State FFA Grants (22 $10,000-$25,000 grants for an array of programs and activities)
-- National FFA Scholarship Program (Scholarships of $1k/yr for 4 years)
-- State Officer Pathway Program (Training for state FFA officers to help enhance their confidence and leadership skills)
-- Washington Leadership Conference (Students learn to be effective leaders by learning their purpose, how to value people and how to take action to serve others)
-- Engagement & Stewardship Intern (FFA member gets CSR experience with a major corporation)
"We're excited to celebrate this event with FFA, a critical partner in connecting CSX to the important agriculture market we serve and helping us give back in our local communities," said David Hall, resident vice president, state and government affairs, CSX. "With more 610,000 student members, FFA will be helpful advocates to promote the importance of using caution around railroad tracks to a teen audience, one of the most vulnerable age groups for rail-related incidents."
Outside of the race, CSX and FFA have an ongoing "Living to Serve" partnership, focused on community service and leadership development. CSX is one of six Platinum Sponsors for the National FFA Foundation, having contributed more than $1 million annually since 2011.
CSX will also be the primary sponsor of the No. 34 Play It Safe Ford driven by Brett Moffitt. FFA will assist in promoting the importance of using caution around railroad tracks to their teen audience, a key demographic in railroad safety education.
More information about CSX's national partners and safety messages can be found online at http://www.beyondourrails.org/ or by following #localmotive, an ongoing conversation about CSX's presence in the communities it serves through volunteerism, job creation, and moving the goods that are essential for the economy.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members who belong to one of 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
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