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Agricultural News

Oklahoma FFA Foundation Awards More Than $50,000 to Local Chapters Through STEM Grants

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 15:08:44 CDT

Oklahoma FFA Foundation Awards More Than $50,000 to Local Chapters Through STEM Grants

The Oklahoma FFA Foundation has awarded more than $50,000 to Oklahoma FFA chapters through the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) After School grants sponsored by Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and FFA Technology & Innovation grants sponsored by Devon Energy.

“We are so excited to work with Oklahoma businesses who believe in what is happening through agricultural education and the many careers that students are being introduced to through the use of technology in their local school ag-ed departments,” said Holly Blakey, executive director of the Oklahoma FFA Foundation. “This is the first time our Foundation has provided grants to our local programs and we are very grateful for the sponsors who have made it

The STEM After School grants were sponsored by Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) through their parent company’s foundation, the American Electric Power (AEP Foundation). These grants were made available to agricultural education programs and FFA chapters in the northeast, southeast and southwest areas. PSO provided a total of $40,000 to be distributed to FFA chapters to encourage students to work on agriscience projects after the regular school day in effort to keep students engaged during what can be a difficult time of day for many.

“All of us at PSO applaud the great work of these FFA chapters,” said Stuart Solomon, president and chief operating officer of PSO. “The projects funded by the STEM After School grants will offer new and engaging opportunities for students. We appreciate working with FFA to support high quality, hands-on STEM learning experiences for students in the areas we serve. We look forward to learning about these projects when they’re completed!”

Chapters receiving PSO grants include: Calvin FFA, Allen FFA, Vinita FFA, Kiefer FFA, Sperry FFA, Tipton FFA, Rush Springs FFA and Ketchum FFA.

“The PSO STEM afterschool grant is such a great asset for Vinita FFA to use cutting edge technology with a truly agricultural component - the bee,” said Carolyn Piguet, agricultural education instructor at Vinita High School. “It is important to educate young agriculturalists to receive training in cutting edge agricultural components. This grant will marry the two parts of the industry and equip students for tomorrow to be successful and true contributors to

Chapters from the central and northwest areas were eligible for FFA Technology and Innovation Grants sponsored by Devon Energy. These grants were based on creativity, sustainability and the needs of the chapter. Devon provided $15,000 in new grants for Oklahoma FFA Chapters.

“Devon is a technology and innovation company that works in the oil and gas industry,” Blakey said. “They are cutting edge in their industry and truly care about preparing the next generation of scientists and innovators to help lead our state.”

Tonya Middleton, Harrah agricultural education instructor, said she believes the opportunity for students to learn about crop scouting through UAV technology will be an enjoyable one.

“I can't tell you how appreciative Harrah FFA and I are for the opportunity to stay on the leading edge of agriculture,” Middleton said. “With the UAV technology (drone) our students will be preparing for an industry expected to reach an estimated $32 billion.”

Chapters receiving the Devon grants include Harrah FFA, Stillwater FFA, Central High FFA, Hennessey FFA and Guthrie FFA. The Oklahoma FFA Foundation seeks to strengthen Agricultural Education and the FFA
so each student can develop their potential for personal growth, career success and leadership. The Foundation strives to provide businesses, associations, private foundations and individuals the opportunity to contribute to the leadership development programs of the FFA. FFA is an integral part of the Agricultural Education division in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system. With more than 27,000 members and 360 chapters, the Oklahoma FFA Association is the fourth-largest state FFA association. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. To learn more about the Oklahoma FFA Association and Foundation, visit www.okffa.org.

Source - The Oklahoma FFA Foundation



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