Nutrients for Life Foundation announces winners of “Helping Communities Grow”

Nutrients for Life Foundation today announced Pettisville High School and Ridgemont High School’s FFA chapters each earned $5,000 in a tie for first place in the first year of the “Helping Communities Grow” FFA chapter recognition program in Ohio.

Both chapters displayed creative projects that effectively expressed the importance of crop nutrients in feeding the world. Pettisville FFA chapter grew fresh greens and herbs for the school’s cafeteria salad bar. Additionally, FFA students taught eighth grade classes about soil nutrients with activities in growing plants, quizzes and lecture sessions. Finally, FFA members hosted a Jeopardy-style adult education program about fertilizer and crop nutrients.

Ridgemont FFA in Ridgeway, Ohio, also earned the first place award by hosting a Hunger Banquet for more than 140 students. During the Hunger Banquet, student participants linked the popular book Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to the realities of global food insecurity. Additionally, students wrote articles about how fertilizer helps to nourish our world and studied plants in the FFA chapter’s container gardens. Finally, Ridgemont FFA students provided 30 local food insecure children with food backpacks and then researched food insecure countries across the world.

Students in participating FFA chapters developed and executed community-based education programs based upon the Nutrients for Life Foundation curriculum, Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century.  This free curriculum, developed by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study and reviewed by the Smithsonian Institution, provides field-tested, standards-based classroom activities to help tomorrow’s generation realize that the challenge of feeding our growing population can be solved with science.

The Helping Communities Grow contest encouraged FFA chapter students to teach others about the importance of fertilizer and the role that it plays in one of two categories:  1) providing a safe and nourishing food supply; or 2) keeping the Earth green.  FFA chapters who entered projects but did not win the top awards each received $500 mini-grants for their participation.

“We are proud to offer this chapter competition for the first year to FFA members in Ohio. In this first year, the students amazed me with their creativity and knowledge,” Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer said. “The FFA chapters who earned these awards learned about the importance of crop nutrients in the cycle of life and they inspired others around them to learn as well.”

The Helping Communities Grow chapter recognition program encouraged FFA students to help the public become better informed about plant nutrients and related agricultural issues. During the project, students gained skills in leadership, public speaking, team building and community awareness while increasing knowledge of soil science and agricultural issues.

NFLF will continue this program for a second year in Ohio. Ohio FFA Chapters are encouraged to submit letters of intent and pre-project summaries by the Nov. 5, 2012 deadline.  Details can be found at

The Nutrients for Life Foundation informs the public of the role of nutrients in both the production of nutritious, abundant food and preservation of healthy green spaces through the development of science-based educational resources and an outreach campaign to people across the country.  The FFA mission is 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.

For more Nutrients for Life information, visit or call (800) 962-9065.

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