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Canby FFA chapter thanks grant sponsors ahead of holiday for funding charitable gardening efforts.

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Canby FFA chapter has much to be thankful for. The program has for several years received the "Living to Serve grant" from the National FFA organization to support food-growing efforts for the community.

Canby FFA is the only chapter in the state of Oregon to receive the maximum amount of funds through the grant on a yearly basis, according to Terri Cummings, Canby High School agriculture teacher and leader of Canby's living-to-serve program.

Before the holiday, the chapter sent a short video out to thank the grant sponsors, which are CoBank, Tractor Supply Co., Cargill, Elanco and Domino's Pizza.

VIMEO - Canby FFA's video shows ag students working in the community garden, a project funded by the 'Living to Serve grant' from the National FFA organization.

The video explains how Canby FFA has used the grant funds for the last six years in a partnership with the charitable organization across the street from the high school, the Canby Center. More than 50 students each year help maintain raised garden beds on the center's property, and the food goes back to the community.

"The students have had some lifelong learning experiences that they will never forget. They're starting gardens of their own," Cummings said in the video. "And the most important thing is we've been able to give back to the community up to 200 pounds of food per week this past summer when we really needed it in our community."

In all, the program has given thousands of pounds of food to address hunger in Canby. Cummings said none of that would have been possible without the grant.

Cummings shared the video via email with school and district leadership as well as Ray Keen, director at the Canby Center.

"We are so proud of you and the students at Canby High School who invest your hearts and hands to serve others," Keen said in response. "Ensuring people have healthy food to eat and more importantly, equipping our young citizens to live compassion-filled lives, is something to celebrate."

Canby High School Principal Greg Dinse responded, too, and noted he would pass the news along in his community newsletter.

"The program has truly been a success, and I appreciate your tireless efforts and dedicated leadership to make this happen," Dinse said in his email back to Cummings.

Superintendent Trip Goodall also took the time to acknowledge the video.

"It is really remarkable to see how engaged the students are with this program. … Continue the great work," Goodall said in part.

The video is available online at

Kristen Wohlers
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