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North Carolina FFA gets grant to improve ag education programs

The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has awarded $180,000 to the North Carolina FFA Foundation to improve high school agricultural education programs throughout the state.

The Agricultural Education Program Improvement Grant, which receives exclusive support from the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, aims to provide much-needed resources to local agricultural education programs and FFA chapters in high schools.

“This grant will enable our teachers to invest resources in a number of critical areas, from equipment and facilities to new course development,” said state agricultural education leader Gerald Barlowe. “We are extremely grateful to the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission for sharing our vision and making possible tremendous opportunities for students throughout the state.”

The North Carolina FFA Foundation, housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, will distribute the gift in at least 32 grants up to $5,000 each. Remaining funds will be used to administer the grant. Any high school in North Carolina with an agricultural education program is eligible to apply. Visit for details. Award winners will be announced in January 2014.

“We’re excited to be a partner with the FFA,” said William Upchurch, executive director of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. “This is a great opportunity for students and teachers to feature innovative and creative projects designed to strengthen agricultural education. These students represent the future of agriculture in North Carolina.”

The North Carolina FFA is a youth organization of more than 20,000 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture, with nearly 250 local chapters across the state. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit for more information.

Suzanne Stanard, 919-513-3126 or

Media Contacts: Joshua Starling, Executive Director of the North Carolina FFA Foundation, 919-513-7069 or; and Jeff Jennings, Program Officer, North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, 919-733-2160 or