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The endowment is designed to provide support for the Oregon FFA Association in perpetuity.

COURTESY PHOTO: TONY PHAM - A female student does her part watering an organic vegetable farm. Agricultural education is a big part of the FFA, which recently received a sizable donation from Northwest Farm Credit Services.The Oregon FFA Foundation received its largest single gift with a donation of $500,000 from Northwest Farm Credit Services to establish an "Oregon FFA Today and Tomorrow" endowment.

"We are deeply humbled and grateful to Northwest Farm Credit Services and the leadership of Brent Fetsch and his team for their continuing and generous investment in the lives of FFA members," Foundation President, Kirk Maag said. "This ground-breaking seed gift gives us the foundation to establish an endowment fund that will provide support for the Oregon FFA Association in perpetuity.

"This will ensure that Oregon FFA can continue 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."

Brent Fetsch, Oregon President of Northwest Farm Credit Services, was enthusiastic about the gift and excited about the prospects of the benefits of Northwest Farm Credit Services' efforts to aid local beneficiaries.

"As part of Northwest Farm Credit's stewardship commitment to improve the lives of our customers, communities, and industries we serve, we are investing funds in education and research across the Northwest."

Locally, Hillsboro, Banks and Forest Grove offer FFA programs, which are designed as a means of developing leaders, aiding personal growth, and building career success through agrarian education. In addition to the educational aspects of the organization, members regularly participate in charitable activities in the community, including recently and annually their Christmas tree recycling program, along with food drives here in Forest Grove, with the mission of coordinating sustainable, long-term funding for agriculture education and Oregon FFA.

Fetsch, a former Oregon State FFA Officer and current secretary of the Oregon FFA Foundation Board of Directors, added that students who participate in FFA are more likely to graduate from high school, and 93 percent continue their education beyond high school, adding to the value of an already valuable program.

"We hope others will join us by investing in 'Oregon FFA Today and Tomorrow' to provide a stable source of funding well into the future," Fetsch said. "We are grateful for the impactful work Oregon FFA does for over 11,000 students, communities and agriculture. We are especially thankful for the over 160 agricultural science teachers and FFA advisors who are a powerful and positive influence on these youth."

Oregon FFA Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is not just for students who want to be production farmers, for they also welcome members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners and more.


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