McLean County Farm Bureau is investing $30,000 in local agricultural education efforts through the FFA Capital Grant program to help grow capacity for hands on learning. Lexington FFA and Normal Community FFA will each receive $15,000 in grant funding.
“We’re happy to help our local high school agricultural education programs upgrade their facilities and add space for more students,” says Brian Dirks, McLean County Farm Bureau President. “The goal of the McLean County Farm Bureau FFA Capital Grant program is to support strong local high school agriculture programs to give students opportunities to learn and explore ag-related careers.”
Lexington FFA plans to use grant funds to purchase welding equipment for a new agricultural shop being constructed at Lexington High School as part of a 30,000 square foot expansion to the school facilities.
“We are extremely thankful and excited about receiving a Capital Grant through McLean County Farm Bureau,” says Brian Wiltz, Lexington Highs School agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor. “The new equipment will help us teach welding in a much more efficient and safe manner.”
Lexington’s school expansion project, including the new ag shop, is expected to be complete by Fall 2024.
Normal Community FFA will use grant funds for shop tables and tools as part of a classroom renovation project to accommodate increasing student enrollment.
“We’re very excited to expand our ag program to three teachers!” says Liz Harris, Normal Community agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor. “When I was hired here 10 years ago, we had just 80 students in the program and now we have over 300. The Capital Grant will help us meet the needs of these many students, including being able to offer an Agriculture Mechanics class for the first time in seven years. Funds from this grant will be used to equip a new lab space for this class!”
The FFA Capital Grant program, established by McLean County Farm Bureau in 2021, is available to all high school agriculture programs that serve McLean County students.