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Minnesota farmers donate funds to local FFA Chapter

Submitted photo Members of the Sleepy Eye FFA prepare to travel to the National FFA Convention and Expo. Their bus was powered by biodiesel fuel, and the cost of the fuel was donated by the Minnesota Corn Soybean Growers Associations.

BROWN COUNTY – With the use of checkoff funds, the Brown County Corn and Soybean Growers made a monetary donation to the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter to provide biodiesel that was used to transport students to the National FFA Convention & Expo.

The National Convention & Expo was held in Indianapolis Oct. 26-29. To compete at the national level, students had to qualify at local events. At the Convention & Expo, students participated in competitions, volunteered during the National Days of Service and attended other sessions to broaden their skills.

“We made this donation to the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter to give them the opportunity to compete at the National level, which is a big deal for these students,” Brown County Treasurer Gary Hauser said. “Traveling to Nationals for FFA is an experience they will never forget. The board is happy to give back to our communities and to help the students.”

There are team and individual events FFA members can compete in. Some of the categories are food science, agriculture sales, forestry, Livestock Evaluation and many more.

One of the members from the Sleepy Eye Chapter finished in the top four in the nation as a national proficiency finalist in the landscape management category. More highlights from the National FFA Convention for the Sleepy Eye Chapter included the National Poultry Team placing 12th in the Nation and individuals placing 10th and 11th and the National Quiz Bowl team placed eighth in the nation.

At the National Conference, the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter also had six members named as an American FFA Degree Recipients. This is the highest award that can be bestowed upon an FFA member. Only two percent of all FFA members receive this prestigious award.

FFA is an organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership hosted by public schools. It allows students to meet challenges and develop skills, while exploring their interests.

Members are future chemists, veterinarians, bankers, teachers and professionals in many career fields. Not only does FFA prepare students for their futures, but through the organization students can apply for grants and scholarships to further their education.

“We are proud to support an organization that promotes students to prepare for their future and grants them opportunities to do so,” Brown County Chair Keith Lendt said. “FFA is a strong organization that Brown County Corn and Soybean Growers has long supported and will continue to support for this exact reason.”

The Brown County Corn and Soybean Growers donated funds specifically for biodiesel to support the chapter but also to promote a use of Minnesota soybeans.

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association is a leader in the nation when it comes to biodiesel. Minnesota was the first state to require biodiesel in diesel blends and in 2018, Minnesota became the first state to require B20. Using B20 is the equivalent of removing about 201,000 vehicles annually from the roads around the state. The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council also invests checkoff funds into resources for information on biodiesel.

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