Thirty- Plus Years of Supporting Agriculture Education Moves Efforts Forward
TORRANCE, Calif., July 27, 2010 – Celebrating a 33-year partnership with the National FFA Foundation, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. continues to move agricultural education efforts of the National FFA Organization (FFA) forward with significant support of existing programs and new initiatives. In the past 10 years alone, Toyota has donated nearly $4 million in cash and products to FFA, with funding benefiting various programs including student leadership development, alumni programs, local community service projects, collegiate scholarships, special events and enhancing diversity in agricultural education.
“Toyota’s longstanding support of FFA has made a real impact on countless individuals and local communities,” said National FFA Organization Chief Operating Officer Dwight Armstrong. “The strength of programs like those supported by Toyota has been the catalyst for FFA to achieve record membership numbers and reach previously underserved students.”
One FFA program developed at the request of Toyota is the “Enhancing Diversity in Agricultural Education” program. The program aims to recruit and retain young minority students who have not traditionally partnered in agricultural education and FFA, and to increase awareness and education regarding the importance of diversity in developing premier leadership, personal growth and career success in agricultural education. Toyota, like FFA, values diversity and is proud to have been the catalyst behind this program, which happens to be one of particular interest to FFA as it falls into one of the organization’s key strategic priority areas. Since the program’s inception in 2004, FFA membership by minority students has substantially increased, moving the group closer to its goal of performing as a diverse organization.
“When I first began working with FFA, I was amazed to see that even if a student’s collegiate and career path didn’t include agriculture, those students involved with FFA consistently went on to be successful in their pursuits regardless,” said Michael Rouse, vice president of Toyota philanthropy and community affairs. “For Toyota, it was important to give that same advantage to a more diverse student base and expand the impact of FFA, which the Enhancing Diversity in Agriculture Education program does today.”
Beyond Enhancing Diversity in Agriculture Education, many programs will benefit from Toyota’s donations in 2010, including the NAAE Outstanding Agriculture Teacher Award, NAAE Outstanding Post-Secondary Teacher Award, Career Show Exhibit and Toyota Motor Sales/FFA Scholarships. Toyota’s sponsorship efforts will also help support the national FFA convention this year where Toyota will provide 25 to 50 courtesy vehicles for use during the event, as well as meals for the national officer candidate dinner at the beginning of the convention. In addition to providing resource support, Toyota will be on hand as an exhibitor at the 83rd National FFA Convention from Oct. 20-23, 2010 in Indianapolis, Ind.
About The National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 520,284 student members (and counting)—all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture—as part of 7,429 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988 in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. 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. Visit www.ffa.org for more information.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers which sold more than 1.77 million vehicles in 2009. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion.
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Media Contact: Toyota Contact:
JoLee Liepman Sona Iliffe-Moon
GolinHarris for Toyota Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
(213) 438-8792 (310) 468-6721
National FFA Contact:
National FFA Organization