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USDA grant to help support FFA chapters at Kentucky schools

The blue corduroy jackets sported by high schoolers in FFA have been the signature look since its founding in 1928.
Luke Runyon
Harvest Public Media
The blue corduroy jackets sported by high schoolers in FFA have been the signature look since its founding in 1928.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is getting federal grant funding from the USDA to help support Future Farmers of America programs across school districts.

More than $650,000 in funding would help school districts buy walk-in coolers and freezers to store locally grown crops. It will also allow those districts to buy more equipment for different types of agricultural production. The money will be awarded to six school districts as subgrants.

Tina Garland is the administrative branch manager for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Foods Division. She says the funding would further help student farmers hone their craft.

“It gets everybody involved in the food system, and it just creates support, and then it teaches healthier habits,” Garland said. “And it just shows the importance of our farming community.”

Garland also said the data the department gets from the grant applications would also allow them to create a Farm to School growing toolkit for FFA chapters statewide.

“This would allow every school across Kentucky that does have an FFA chapter to implement this program and grow for their schools,” Garland said. “So we're super excited about that, because that's going to take it even beyond the life of the grant.”

Garland says information for school districts to apply for the grants will be available by October 1st, with the money scheduled to be awarded by November 30.

Shepherd joined WEKU in June 2023 as a staff reporter. He most recently worked for West Virginia Public Broadcasting as General Assignment Reporter. In that role, he collected interviews and captured photos in the northern region of West Virginia. Shepherd holds a master’s degree in Digital Marketing Communication and a bachelor’s in music from West Virginia University.
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