Red Brand surpasses $1 million in FFA support
Red Brand’s Home Grown program has propelled the company into an elite position with the National FFA by surpassing $1 million in financial support for the student-based educational organization.
In 2010, Keystone Steel and Wire Co., maker of Red Brand fence, launched Home Grown, a program designed to benefit FFA through its Red Brand agricultural fencing sales division. The grass-roots funding initiative was created as a way for retailers and communities to connect with their local FFA chapters and generate funds based on fence orders. Red Brand donates $1 to a designated local chapter on behalf of the retail sponsor for each roll of fence ordered.
Each year over 700 local chapters receive an average of $400 as a result of Home Grown. “More than 500 retailers participate annually, and the number continues to increase each year, illustrating just how valuable this program has become,” said Dain Rakestraw, Marketing Manager for Red Brand. “Not only does a dealer’s Home Grown participation help to raise funds for their local FFA chapter, they also help raise awareness and educate their local community about the important role that FFA plays in the lives of our future ag leaders.”
While not typical, Rakestraw said that last year the Platte-Geddes FFA Chapter in South Dakota received over $7,100 from Home Grown, the largest amount presented to date to one chapter from the sales of a single retailer. “This check demonstrates the true effectiveness of local partnerships and the program’s unlimited potential,” Rakestraw explained. “We have heard from so many students and advisors about the benefits of the Home Grown program,” Rakestraw continued. “Funds will be used for everything from year-end banquets to community projects to participation at state and national conventions. The possibility to impact these young people on so many levels is what it’s all about.”
Todd Greenwood, Director, Corporate Contributions of the National FFA Foundation expressed the organization’s appreciation for Red Brand’s long-standing relationship with FFA. “Red Brand has been an FFA partner since 1947, and their financial support is critically important to growing and developing stronger FFA experiences for teachers and students at the local level of our organization,” said Greenwood. “We are deeply grateful for their continued commitment to FFA.”
In addition to contributing to local chapters through Home Grown, Red Brand helps fund national programs like student achievement awards and SAE grants. Red Brand has also developed a classroom fence curriculum for advisors and a fence installer SAE business opportunity for students. “These programs are an integral part of the commitment we have made to investing in FFA,” said Rakestraw. “It is deeply rewarding to know that Red Brand can really make a difference in the lives of young people while helping to create a legacy of leadership and excellence. We expect our long-standing relationship to continue for years to come as we work with FFA to create innovative programs that support the goals of both the National FFA and their students.”
The 2013 Home Grown program is currently underway. Information about Red Brand’s Home Grown program and other FFA initiatives can be found at redbrand.com/ffa.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News