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Mo. FFA Foundation awards $20K grant to Willow Springs FFA


The Missouri FFA Foundation is awarding a $20,000 grant to the agriculture education program at Willow Springs Schools, officials announced.

“Since the Missouri FFA Foundation was formed three years ago, we’ve consistently heard from our teachers that there’s a significant unmet need for facilities, equipment, machinery and other high-cost items related to agriculture education instruction. This year, thanks to an initial investment from the State of Missouri, we were able to launch two grant programs, the Horizon Grant program to help expand or upgrade existing agriculture education offerings and the Rising Sun Grant program to help start new agriculture education offerings and certificate programs,” said Heather Dimitt-Fletcher, executive director of the foundation. “Through these programs, schools can apply for funding that when leveraged with support from their local communities will be able to address some of those unmet needs.”

The Willow ag program will use the grant funds to create a welding area that will exceed industry standards, said officials: It will involve state-of-the art multiprocessor welders, Individual welding booths, independent updraft exhaust systems and multi-positional welding tables.

“This Horizon Grant will provide us with the facilities to better prepare our students for the workforce or a welding trade school,” said Willow Springs ag teacher Grant Talburt. “This grant will allow us to create one the best welding facilities in agriculture classrooms across the state.”

“We are extremely grateful to receive this grant,” added Shiloh Walden, who teaches alongside Talburt. “Our current welding facilities leave much to be desired. With this grant we can better prepare our students for the careers they seek after graduation.”