Des Moines FFA Chapter Awarded First-Ever ‘Planting A Seed’ Grant

The Des Moines FFA chapter at Central Campus has been awarded a $1,500 “Planting A Seed” grant by the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) in order to conduct activities that increase agricultural awareness and interest among youth in food production and life sciences.

The first-time program is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, in cooperation with the Iowa FFA Foundation.

Other grant recipients include Audubon FFA, Audubon; Clay-Central/Everly FFA, Everly; Gladbrook-Reinbeck FFA, Reinbeck; Iowa Mennonite FFA, Kalona; and New Hampton FFA, New Hampton.

The grants will assist chapters in conducting programs this spring that stimulate interest among K-12 students in agricultural careers and emphasize the role science and technology play in providing wholesome food using less land, water and fossil fuels.

All grant recipients will be recognized April 23 at the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference in Ames. One chapter determined to have conducted the most innovative and successful activity will be presented a $1,500 Award of Excellence to be used for general chapter activities.

The Des Moines FFA will utilize its grant to provide students an opportunity to tour a local greenhouse and livestock farm to enhance agricultural literacy and encourage youth to consider careers in agriculture and life sciences.

“Many of our students have little or no exposure to agriculture,” says Des Moines FFA chapter advisor Cindy Snell. “These tours will allow teachers to provide students experiences that will help them learn about farming and other agricultural careers. Our hope is to continue to provide this activity annually.”

Connecting youth to farming and food production is central to the mission of the grant program and important to answering the needs of a growing world population, says Pioneer Business Director Todd Frazier.

“To meet the needs of a growing population, Iowa’s farmers must continue to increase productivity while using less land, water and energy,” he says. “The challenge presents tremendous opportunities for Iowa’s agricultural community and one that will be successfully met by nurturing the next generation of agronomists, researchers and scientists.”

Aaron Putze, director of external relations for the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa FFP coordinator, says grant program judges were impressed with the breadth and quality of activities submitted for consideration.

“The selection process was robust,” he says. “We now look forward to working collectively with grant recipients to implement successful programs that increase agricultural awareness and interest in ag-related career opportunities.” 

Partners in the grant program are:

The Iowa Food & Family Project ( inspires greater awareness and trust between farmers and consumers through advocacy and personal engagement to the benefit of human vitality, environmental quality and economic prosperity. It was launched by the Iowa Soybean Association in April and involves nearly 30 commodity groups, businesses, grocery retailers and food relief organizations.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success™.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, visit

The Iowa FFA Foundation ( builds partnerships with individuals and businesses to provide support for agricultural education.  It serves as an advocate to stimulate, promote and strengthen the young people of Iowa, who will ultimately lead the next generation of agriculture, by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.