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NUTRIENTS FOR LIFE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE FFA CHAPTER RECOGNITION PROGRAM
Source: Nutrients for Life Foundation sent via AgPR--the news distribution service for agriculture

Nutrients for Life Foundation today announced Colfax High School's FFA chapter was the first place winner of a $5,000 grant in the first year of the "Helping Communities Grow" FFA chapter recognition program in Washington. First place winner Colfax FFA chapter won $5,000 for teaching 343 elementary students about the global nitrogen cycle and its role in agriculture. For the past eight years, the Colfax FFA has organized and implemented Ag Day - a venue for local elementary students to experience agriculture in a fun and engaging manner. This year, the young students rotated in small teams through a series of interactive displays and lessons where they role-played the different parts of the nitrogen cycle in the air, water, soil and food.

After developing a plan, the Colfax FFA students reviewed their lesson materials with an elementary school advisor, who taught them how to simplify the content, use age-appropriate language, and to time each station more in keeping with elementary student attention spans. Not only did the 343 elementary students learn important life lessons about the nitrogen cycle which affects everyone, but the high school FFA chapter members learned about the nitrogen cycle, and how to teach a rather complicated subject to young learners.

The FFA chapters at Pomeroy Junior and Senior High School in Pomeroy, Wash., and Elma High School in Elma, Wash., placed second and third, and received grants of $3,000 and $1,000, respectively.

The Pomeroy FFA Chapter won the second place award of $3,000 by organizing an activity with the second and fifth graders at Pomeroy's elementary school. Using four interactive teaching stations, the FFA members studied plant nutrient cycles, developed teaching stations and lessons, then taught the 49 elementary students about the importance of plant nutrients, how water and fertilizer is used by plants, soil characteristics, and water and soil management on a farm. The Pomeroy FFA also collaborated with the local unit of the McGregor Company to ensure their lessons met modern soil and nutrition management practices.

Washington's Elma FFA Chapter won $1,000 for third place by developing teaching materials and activities for local fifth and eighth graders in their district. Working with 85 fifth-graders, the FFA students taught lessons on plant nutrients, including providing a seedling plant and a journal where students would observe daily changes in the plant describing the impact that fertilizer had on seedling. After the two-week observation trial, FFA members met with the students to review their journals and interpret results. Elma FFA also developed a hydroponic project growing lettuce with 85 fifth-graders in their district. Students learned the scope of the hydroponics industry, how to manage nutrients in hydroponic conditions, and the role of hydroponics in feeding the world.

Students in participating FFA chapters developed and executed community-based education programs based upon the Nutrients for Life Foundation curriculum, Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century. This free curriculum, developed by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study and reviewed by the Smithsonian Institution, provides field-tested, standards-based classroom activities to help tomorrow's generation realize that the challenge of feeding our growing population can be solved with science.

The Helping Communities Grow contest encouraged FFA chapter students to teach others about the importance of fertilizer and the role that it plays in one of two categories: 1) providing a safe and nourishing food supply; or 2) keeping the Earth green. FFA chapters who entered projects but didn't win the top three awards each received $500 mini-grants for their participation.

The Helping Communities Grow chapter recognition program encouraged FFA students to help the public become better informed about plant nutrients and related agricultural issues. During the project, students gained skills in leadership, public speaking, team building and community awareness while increasing knowledge of soil science and agricultural issues.

NFLF will continue this program for a second year in Washington. Washington FFA Chapters are encouraged to submit letters of intent and pre-project summaries by the Nov. 5 deadline. Details can be found at www.nutrientsforlife.org.

The Nutrients for Life Foundation informs the public of the role of nutrients in both the production of nutritious, abundant food and preservation of healthy green spaces through the development of science-based educational resources and an outreach campaign to people across the country. 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.

For more Nutrients for Life information, visit www.nutrientsforlife.org or call (800) 962-9065.

About Nutrients for Life Foundation
The Nutrients for Life Foundation is a tax-exempt status organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is incorporated in the State of Delaware. The Foundation was formed to disseminate educational information to the general public, including policy makers, about fertilizers, modern agriculture and the role plant nutrients serve in improving people's lives.


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