Marshall, Sweet Springs FFA honored as state's top chapters

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Marshall High School FFA members were presented a $1,500 award from Monsanto on Thursday, July 14 at the Saline County Fair. The award was presented to just 10 chapters from Missouri.

(July 11, 2011) -- Two Saline County FFA chapters, Sweet Springs and Marshall have been voted as a top chapter in Missouri by area farmers in the FFA Chapter Challenge pilot program, sponsored by Monsanto Company. FFA members in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia and Alabama took this opportunity to make meaningful connections with area farmers, and farmers then voted for their favorite FFA chapter.

"Monsanto is proud to be a partner with the National FFA and help these local chapters generate new and stronger relationships with their area farmers," said John Raines, vice president of Monsanto customer advocacy. "We would like to congratulate Sweet Springs FFA on their accomplishment and for opening dialogue with the farming community that billions depend on everyday."

Eighty-two FFA chapters across Missouri were in the running for the FFA Chapter Challenge Grand Prize, which was made possible through National FFA and Monsanto. The chapter that received the most votes won a trip to this year's National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 19-22, for six students and one adviser. The trip is valued at $6,500.

The Sweet Springs FFA chapter received a $1,500 award from Monsanto at the Saline County Fair on July 14. Only 10 chapters from Missouri received the award. Two Lewis Hybrid dealers helped present the award.

The top 10 chapters in each state were awarded a $1,500 certificate of credit as first prize. The remaining 55 prizes were awarded to the overall top chapters, not to include those that ranked in the top 10 for their state. The second prize chapters received FFA merchandise gift certificates. These certificates of credit can be used with the national office for items such as blue jackets, convention fees and more.

"The FFA Chapter Challenge is a good program because it gives us an opportunity to visit with the community to understand what we're doing and know we understand what they're doing," said Brent Niemeyer, Sweet Springs FFA adviser. "It's a great reward for our chapter to get this money to help offset things in our budget. It's great to spread around the community."

Marshall's advisors also commented on the award.

"I think this was a great program to build additional community relations as well as giving chapters a chance to win a great prize for it," said Jason Price, Marshall FFA adviser.

"Any financial support that can be found outside the school district is always a bonus."

To see a full list of 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge winners, please visit