Colorado Corn awards FFA $5,000 |

Colorado Corn awards FFA $5,000

The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee recently awarded a $5,000 grant to the Platte Valley FFA Chapter in Kersey, Colo., which will help those students add GPS-controlled, variable-rate sprinkler nozzles to the chapter’s research field.

Adding to its support of other youth-focused efforts, the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee began its FFA Grant Program in 2013, and since then has awarded a total of $21,484 to five FFA chapters across the state to assist them with their projects.

Its most recent grant will help add the new irrigation feature to Platte Valley FFA’s already impressive research plot. On its 20-acre field, the FFA chapter raised 13 varieties of corn during this past growing season, while using a drone with flight-plan capabilities and high-resolution and infrared cameras to map the field.

The research plot is already under GPS-enabled sprinkler irrigation, and with the help of Colorado Corn’s $5,000 grant, the addition of variable-rate sprinkler nozzles will further assist the chapter in researching production methods that increase yields and also reduce water consumption. Furthermore, the Platte Valley FFA Chapter is currently working with the school’s technology department to create map overlays that can be used to view the corn canopy growth, enabling the students to change water applications to the crop in real time.

“These teenagers already are working on the problems that tenured experts in the ag industry are trying to address; how do we produce more food for more people, but with less resources? It’s quite impressive, and the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee is more than happy to support the Platte Valley FFA Chapter in its efforts,” said Mark Sponsler, executive director of Colorado Corn. “This is another shining example of how our FFA grant dollars represent a worthy investment, and also demonstrates our principles of collaboration and leveraging resources.”

Platte Valley’s FFA Chapter has 140 high school members and 45 middle school members, and is led by chapter advisers Patti Koed, John Stahley and Desirae Weber.

–Colorado Corn