March 21, 2013

Howell, Ozark and Franklin County Groups Get Grants for 4-H, FFA Youth Service Projects

Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler announced that two groups from south central Missouri were awarded grants from the Missouri Department of Agriculture's 2013 Building Our American Communities grant program today. Eleven local chapters of the National FFA Organization and nine Missouri 4-H clubs statewide have been granted funding for their community service projects this year.

"The Building Our American Communities program is a great opportunity for Missouri's 4-H and FFA members to be involved in agriculture and make a difference in their communities," said Director Hagler. "Youth are the future of Missouri's agriculture industry and it is outstanding to see their commitment to these projects."

The Rockin Ranchers 4-H Club, the Willow Springs FFA Chapter, the Dora FFA Chapter and the Maverick 4-H Club plan to upgrade local community buildings through their service projects.

The Rockin Ranchers 4-H Club and the Willow Springs FFA Chapter, of Howell County, along with the Dora FFA Chapter of Ozark County, are working together on a project to create seating areas and livestock facilities for the Heart of the Ozark Fairgrounds in West Plains, Mo. With the grant funds, improvements will be made to make the fairgrounds more comfortable and appealing to exhibitors and visitors.

The Maverick 4-H Club will use their grant funds for improvements to the Meramec Community Fairgrounds in Franklin County, which has one of the largest 4-H populations in the state. A new barn will be built along with an addition to the show barn to provide for small livestock exhibitors so tents will no longer have to be used, making the area safer for all who exhibit and attend.

The Building Our American Communities program has been supporting youth projects since the 1970s. Each year, youth organizations throughout Missouri submit proposals for consideration for the grants, which range from $100 to $500 and support specific projects within each community. The grants are funded through Missouri's Agriculture Development Fund under an agreement with the USDA.

4-H clubs and FFA chapters awarded grants this year must complete their projects no later than September 1, 2013.

For more information on the Department and its programs, visit