Rockridge FFA chapter earns $2,000 in FFA Chapter Challenge Area farmers help their favorite FFA Chapter win top honors

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Rockridge FFA receives $2,000 prize from Monsanto representatives Chris Bertelsen and Rodney Phelps.

Members of Rock Island County’s Rockridge FFA chapter recently made good use of the leadership skills gained through agricultural education. By making connections with 167 area famers, the chapter earned enough votes to place second in Illinois and earned $2,000 in the second annual FFA Chapter Challenge.

“Rockridge is a rural school, and we are very close with the farmers in our area,” said Allen Hyett, FFA advisor. “Agriculture is the backbone of our school district. We are very proud of the support we receive from our community.”

FFA members in 12 states went out into their communities to build relationships with local farmers and gained votes for Chapter Challenge, sponsored by Monsanto and National FFA. Thanks to local farmers, members of Rockridge FFA gained a deeper appreciation for agriculture and earned funds that will enhance their classroom experience.

“The mission of FFA goes beyond farming, but its heart will always be in creating new generations of leaders who understand agriculture and small communities,” said Linda Arnold, Monsanto customer advocacy lead. “Monsanto is proud to partner with the National FFA Foundation to help local chapters create that bond with the people who grow our food and build our communities.”

In total, more than $200,000 was awarded to 201 FFA chapters. Winners received certificates of credit that can be used for items such as new FFA blue jackets or convention fees.  Across Illinois, FFA chapters were in the running for the FFA Chapter Challenge Grand Prize, which went to the Lawrence County High School FFA Chapter in Moulton, Ala. This chapter received 1,110 votes and won a trip to this year’s 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.

To see a full list of 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge winners, please visit

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. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit:  Follow our business on Twitter at, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, 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. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online (, on Facebook (http://, on Twitter ( and FFA Nation (