The North Dakota FFA Foundation will be awarding $500 mini-grants to educators, teachers or organizations to promote agriculture in North Dakota classrooms. The mini-grants are made possible through a grant received by the ND FFA Foundation from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. The program, called Ag in the Classroom, was designed to bring agriculture to all types of K-12 classrooms and learning environments. The announcement makes this the 16th consecutive year the ND FFA Foundation has been able to provide these grants.

To encourage the continuation of programming, curriculum and lesson planning, the ND FFA Foundation will give these mini-grants through two separate academic years. Roughly $12,000 will be given for the academic year of 2019-2020. Applications will also be available in September of 2020 for this year’s recipients and others to apply for new or additional funding for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Past grant applicants have included elementary teachers, high school teachers, 4-H leaders and FFA advisers. The funding can be used for supplies, curriculum, printing, materials, food-based projects, equipment and technology. All applications targeting young people (K-12) to enhance student knowledge of the contributions made by agriculture will be considered. However, proposed projects or events designed to reach large groups of these students will be given preference.

“I’ve had the opportunity of helping facilitate these grants in past years,” says Andrew Young, Iinterim executive director of the foundation. Young said past applications have not only been diverse in regard to organizations and individuals who have applied, but through their programming and intentions to use the funding. “We’ve gotten to review applications for schools who wanted to expand their aquaculture programs and learning facilities, I’ve seen applications for schools to test fruit production and more.”

Applications for Ag in the Classroom grants to be used in the 2019-2020 academic year are due Oct. 1. The online application can be found on the ND FFA Foundation’s website NDFFAFoundation.com (or by directly visiting ndffa.co/agintheclassroom).