LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – Championing for a cause is as important to Olympian Curt Tomasevicz as preparing for a bobsled race. But this cause is agriculture. The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) and Nebraska FFA, with the help of Curt Tomasevicz, spokesman for NCB, are partnering on a new program and contest for Nebraska FFA students called “Ag Champions”.
The purpose of the Ag Champions program is to build up FFA students to become “agvocates” (agricultural advocates) in their communities and amongst their peers. The program will provide a toolbox of resources and a contest to allow FFA chapters to submit a plan which would earn the top three winning chapters grants, based off of the budget in their agvocacy proposal. The Grand Champion winning chapter will earn the opportunity for Tomasevicz to be involved with their program.
“Through this project, we want to engage FFA members by developing a lasting impact through direct community involvement, as well as encouraging grassroots agvocacy,” said Anita Wollenburg, interim Nebraska FFA state advisor. “Through this plan, FFA chapters will determine an issue in their community, the audience they want to reach and expand on an agvocacy plan of defending agriculture along with education and communication.”
While this contest only provides three winning grants, the goal of the Ag Champions program is to create agvocates in the state’s communities and help put a realistic plan in place that can be used by the FFA chapters and students in any situation.
“As issues affecting agriculture appear too often, we are encouraging local FFA chapters to have a plan in place to defend their industry, while also putting agriculture on the offense,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, NCB executive director. “Education is key to important issues and could dispel many issues that arise when the foundation and basic understanding of an issue is in place.”
Tomasevicz is helping to spread the message about the Ag Champions program with a shout-out to FFA students on his YouTube channel. All Nebraska FFA chapters will be receiving information about the contest details from the Nebraska State FFA Officers on their chapter visits, but more information can be obtained on www.NebraskaCorn.org. Deadline for the Ag Champions plans to be submitted to NCB is May 15, 2015.