Indiana’s Family of Farmers has announced a third year for their Ag Resource Grant Program which has helped improve educational agriculture-related events across Indiana. Grants of up to $2,000 are made possible through a partnership with Farm Credit Services of Mid-America. Spokesperson Denise Derrer says a wide variety of programs and communities have benefited from the grants.
“The beauty of this program is it’s the folks in the local communities who know what their community needs and where the gaps are so they can come in and ask for assistance to make those projects happen,” she told HAT. “One of the more interesting ones from last year is we had a couple of local organizations request money for books specifically for elementary school libraries that are about agriculture and farming and food. That makes them more accessible. Teachers can use them as resources. They’re there for the kids so it’s a great way to have a project that has ongoing longevity because they stay there.”
Grant monies have also assisted with making an Ag Day event venue more handicap accessible and capital funds at other events like hand washing stations.
Last year the program set aside a portion of their funds for a category of youth-led initiatives. Derrer says that category is back this year.
“Now these don’t necessarily have to be programs targeted toward kids as the audience, but we want those individuals who are actually putting in the planning, putting in the hard work, making the program happen, to be young people whether it’s a 4-H club, an FFA chapter, or maybe it’s a collegiate group. We’re really doing that because we would like to inspire and motivate our young people because they’re really the future of agriculture and where we see things going. If we can get that motivation and that action happening early on then we just see a bright future ahead.”
In response to grant applications last year $22,323.06 was offered.
Derrer is the Public Information Director for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health and IFOF Ag Resource Committee Chairman. The deadline to apply for the grant is May 31, 2013 and complete details and applications are online at the IFOF website.