A record-setting, unrestricted cash contribution of $1 million was given by RFD Communications, Inc., to the National FFA Foundation during the FFA State Presidents’ Conference at U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C., July 26, 2012.
Patrick G. Gottsch, founder and president of RFD Communications, Inc., Omaha, Neb., presented the check to National FFA President Ryan Best, who accepted the contribution on behalf of the 540,379-member agricultural student organization and the foundation. Joining Best were his five fellow national FFA officers and 104 state presidents and officers representing 52 state FFA associations including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The officers were participating in a weeklong conference discussing major issues and preparing for the 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis this October.
“In the FFA Creed recited by our members, we say that “we believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words, but of deeds,” said Best, an agricultural education major at New Mexico State University. “This gift will provide FFA members with enhanced access to leadership programs, assist in efforts to establish new chapters and encourage new students to join FFA and support initiatives such as the Agricultural Career Network connecting students to career opportunities in agriculture. RFD-TV has demonstrated through its actions that FFA is valued.” Since 1928, FFA has focused on developing students’ potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
“When RFD-TV was launched in December 2000, our stated mission and charter was dedicated to serving the needs and interests of rural America”, said Gottsch, an outspoken advocate of FFA since 1988. “Our association with FFA has been such a rewarding experience and contributed much to the success now being realized at RFD-TV. We are so proud to be in a position to raise our level of support for the FFA, and we hope this contribution will encourage others to take note of the National FFA’s outstanding track record with youth and the importance of investing in our future.”
Based in Indianapolis and created in 1944, the National FFA Foundation gives companies, organizations and individuals opportunities to provide financial resources and cooperation in support of FFA programs and other agricultural education organizations. Foundation sponsors have contributed more than $200 million to support FFA and agricultural education.
“Gifts to the foundation translate directly into educational opportunity for agriculture students, their communities and American agriculture,” said Rob Cooper, executive director, National FFA Foundation. “RFD-TV is part of a very special group of sponsors whose significant contributions underscore their confidence in the importance of this program to their industry and our nation. We cannot underestimate the power of this generosity to catch fire.”