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Monsanto supports FFA with $850,000 commitment in 2012

Date: April 17 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, April 17, 2012/National FFA Foundation) – St. Louis-based Monsanto (NYSE: MON) is providing more than $850,000 in funding to the National FFA Organization in 2012 to support national student leadership conferences, educational awards, awareness campaigns and more.

The majority of Monsanto’s financial support of FFA in 2012 was behind the FFA Chapter Challenge, a competition among FFA chapters in 12 states to build relationships with local farmers that ended in March. More than 840 FFA chapters participated. Ten chapters in each state earned $2,500 each to pay for FFA supplies or costs associated with members attending national leadership conferences.

Monsanto is also sponsoring two national leadership conferences staged by FFA. The annual Washington Leadership Conference spans seven weeks during the summer and draws thousands of students from throughout the country to Washington, D.C., who learn leadership skills and perform community service. The three-day National Leadership Conference for State Officers is a summertime conference during which FFA officers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands learn advanced interpersonal communication strategies and presentation delivery techniques.

“Monsanto is a dedicated corporate supporter of the National FFA Organization’s programs and services that develop youth into tomorrow’s agricultural industry leaders,” said Rob Cooper, executive director of the National FFA Foundation. “The company is a global force in the agricultural industry and with Monsanto’s support, we can continue to grow and enhance our programs focused on students’ premier leadership, personal growth and career success.”

As special projects of the National FFA Foundation, this year Monsanto will also co-sponsor two National Association of Agricultural Education awards. Outstanding agricultural education programs in middle and high schools will be recognized with a 2012 Outstanding Middle or Secondary School Agricultural Education Program Award while NAAE will recognize current and retired NAAE members who have made significant contributions to agricultural education at the state, regional and national levels with an Outstanding Service Citation award.

“As a company whose only business is agriculture, Monsanto is committed to the support of educational programs that generate excitement about farming, choosing agriculture-related studies and pursuing careers in the industry,” said Monsanto’s customer advocacy lead Linda Arnold. “FFA members represent the next generation of agriculture Leaders.  Whether it’s returning to the family farm or working in industry, these young people have exemplary leadership and communication skills that set them apart. We are proud to support FFA through the sponsorship of these development programs.”

Monsanto’s commitment to FFA in 2012 will also fund career development events, requirements in FFA that help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly and perform effectively in a competitive job market, and proficiency awards, which honor FFA members who have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers.

The National FFA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization, which provides agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,489 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that fund FFA activities, recognize member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agriculture education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of all sponsorship dollars received by the foundation support FFA members and agricultural education opportunities.
About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members as part of 7,489 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy.
About National Association of Agricultural Educators
The National Association of Agricultural Educators is a federation of the state associations of agricultural educators. Today, nearly 8,000 agricultural educators are NAAE members. Membership consists of middle and secondary school agriculture teachers who serve as the advisors to local FFA chapters, postsecondary agriculture teachers, statewide coordinators of agricultural education programs, university faculty who provide pre-service and in-service education for agricultural educators, university students who are preparing to become agriculture teachers and others who support school-based agricultural education.

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