Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank will match up to $10,000 in donor pledges toward the expansion of a new agricultural education building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds.
"We're proud to partner with Farm Credit Associations of Kansas to support this important project that will help today's students become tomorrow's leaders in agriculture," said Amy H. Gales, Executive Vice President of CoBank's Regional Agribusiness Banking Group. "We believe in giving back to the communities where our customers and our employees live and work, and we're excited to watch this program develop for the youth of Kansas."
"Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas joins with the other Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank in supporting Kansas FFA and the Kansas State Fair with this exciting opportunity," said Mark Anderson, CEO of Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas located in Garden City. "Farm Credit believes in and has a vested interest in the future of agriculture in Kansas and we are thrilled to partner with our Kansas FFA youth whenever there are opportunities to enhance agricultural education in Kansas."
This winter the Kansas State Fair and Wick Buildings presented an opportunity to Kansas agricultural education programs and FFA chapters. The challenge was to raise funds necessary to increase square footage of a proposed new Wick 36X50 Smart Building, replacing the current agricultural education facility located by Gate 5. The initial challenge resulted in funds to build the larger building, plus finance educational displays
"The Fair is excited for this opportunity for Kansas FFA. Not only will it enhance the current FFA exhibits, but it will also provide an avenue for FFA to showcase and grow its offerings," said Denny Stoecklein, Manager of the Kansas State Fair.
To date sixty-three groups and individuals have made a financial commitment to this project.
"We expect this building to become a gathering place for agriculture education students and showcase not only traditional agriculture but the diversity and science of today's modern agriculture. A portion of the building is similar to what we have had... this shows the "traditional" idea of agriculture," said Harmon Bliss, Hodgeman County agricultural educator and building campaign chair. "The second part of the building is where we can showcase the diversity and science of agriculture through our educational pathways, post-secondary options in our state, and even career exploration. We are truly thankful to Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank for their investment into the future of Kansas agricultural education."
The Kansas State Fair Grand Drive animals will also be on display in the new building and cared for by Kansas agricultural education students in early September.