The Hinckley-Big Rock FFA Chapter, Indian Creek FFA Chapter and Sycamore FFA Chapter each received a $250 grant from the Community Improvement Grant Program funded by 1st Farm Credit Services.
The Hinckley-Big Rock FFA Chapter is using the grant to remodel and reconstruct the high school’s barn. The Indian Creek FFA is using the grant to create a railroad scale model to show how agricultural goods are transported from farm to plate. The Sycamore FFA is using the grant to make improvements to the high school courtyard.
The grant program funded 28 community improvement projects completed by 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters. Overall, the grants helped more than 1,140 volunteers work more than 5,100 hours in their communities.
“Encouraging young people in 4-H and FFA to give back to others is one more way we can help make our communities a great place to live,” Brad Slutz, a vice president for 1st Farm Credit Services in Sycamore, said in a news release. “The values, skills and service the members learn in these projects will benefit our communities for years to come.”
1st Farm Credit Services developed the program as a way to help rural youth give back and enhance their communities. The projects selected to receive the grants had to bring a positive change and impact on the local community, involve youth development and education and show a community need.
The Hinckley-Big Rock FFA Chapter will work with alumni to remodel and reconstruct the high school’s barn, which is used for agriculture education classes and the chapter. The barn, where members observe plot planting and harvest, also is used by local community groups for events. The barn needs new paint, wood and windows. More than 100 hours will be spent on the project.
The Indian Creek FFA Chapter is working to create a scale railroad model to show how agricultural goods are transported from farms to plates. The model will be used to show elementary school students the need and uses for agricultural goods. The chapter will utilize the tool throughout the year to teach about the food chain. More than 160 hours will be volunteered through the project.
The Sycamore FFA Chapter will work to build benches and plant flowers in the high school courtyard, along with planting vegetables for community members to pick. FFA members will build planter boxes to improve on the area and give back to the community. They will work with the local 4-H Club to complete the project. More than 30 hours will be spent on the project.
1st Farm Credit Services provides agriculture loans, risk management products and various services such as crop insurance, loan and lease options, as well as agricultural real estate appraisals and title agency services. The cooperative serves 42 counties in the northern half of Illinois through its 16 local offices.