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BRENTWOOD, TN -- Local FFA chapters in search of funding for their next animal science lab, community garden or any other worthy agricultural project, take note.

Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States, will soon be awarding Grants for Growing — starting at $500 — to qualifying FFA chapters. To win a grant, FFA advisors must visit http://www.ffa.org/grantsforgrowing and complete the application. Submissions are due by Monday, Feb. 13, 2017.

In partnership with the National FFA Foundation, Tractor Supply supports Grants for Growing to serve FFA chapters who want to make a difference in their communities with critical project funding. Grants are awarded to deserving FFA chapter initiatives in the spring.

Grant recipients are selected based on proposals detailing how they will start or expand a project that will benefit their communities well into the future. While the minimum competitive grant amount is $500 for participating chapters, there is no cap on the amount of funding a chapter may request for its project.

Now in its second year, Grants for Growing is offered to FFA chapters across the country. Notable 2016 grant recipients included the Jemison, Alabama FFA chapter, which used program funding to construct an animal science lab addition to house laboratory and show animals such as pigs, donkeys, rabbits and Texas Longhorn heifers. In Cedar Springs, Michigan, the local FFA chapter built a garden to provide the community with food donations, as well as help students learn more about raising vegetables.

In 2016, Grants for Growing raised more than $700,000, funding 374 grants supporting projects involving 39,038 students. To support the program, Tractor Supply hosts a 10-day in-store event nationwide that offers shoppers the opportunity to donate $1 at checkout in support of the program.

In 2017, the fundraising period will take place during National FFA Week, Feb. 17– 26. All in-store donations remain within that state.

For more details about the program, visit https://www.ffa.org/grantsforgrowing.

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