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Press Release

Three FFA Chapters Awarded Funds From Culver’s to Support Student Development

Restaurant chain announces winners of fourth annual FFA Essay Contest

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis.— With over 653,000 student members belonging to over 8,500 FFA chapters, FFA is the largest student-run organization in the United States. Individually, each member makes an impact, but by working together the organization’s members can make an even greater difference in the agriculture industry. 

This year the Culver’s FFA Essay Contest focused on this idea by asking members to write about the 2017 National FFA Convention theme, “I can. We will.” FFA members were asked to share what the theme means to them and how they’ll apply it to their future career.

The winners’ chapters listed below received a total of $15,000 from Culver’s to help fund educational experiences, like a trip to the 2018 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Oct. 24–27.

  • First place ($7,500): Luke J.’s Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter in Ohio
  • Second place ($5,000): Kaitlyn H.’s Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter in Illinois
  • Third place ($2,500): Clayton B.’s Burley FFA Chapter in Idaho

The essay contest is a part of Culver’s Thank you Farmers Project, which recognizes how vital agriculture is to feeding our country’s growing population and works to make a difference by donating money to agricultural education programs, like the FFA, that encourage smart farming.

“Each year the essays continue to inspire us by showing the passion FFA members have for agriculture and building a strong future for the industry,” said Jessie Kreke, senior marketing manager for Culver’s. “We believe that FFA members are our future, and we love any chance to support their development and education.”

The excerpts that follow are from the winning essays, which were judged by Culver’s and the National FFA Organization.

Luke J. plans to become an agriculture educator in the future.  

  • “If we believe in the future of agriculture, then we must become advocates for agriculture. As the world’s population is rapidly growing and is approaching 10 billion people by 2050, we agriculturists must feed and clothe these people. It is estimated that less than 2 percent of the population are involved in the production of food. To end world hunger, to feed the world and to put agriculture back in the spotlight, we must raise agriculturists. Maybe I can feed 50 people as a single farmer, but together we will feed the entire planet.”

Kaitlyn H. plans to pursue a career as a veterinarian.

  • To the world, the statement ‘I can. We will.’ defines everyday life for many people all across the globe. Regardless of race, religion or beliefs, you can always count on someone to be there for you if you are unable to stand on your own.”

Clayton B. dreams of becoming an agriculture products representative.

  • “Our job is the environment and what we do with it. If we teach people about the things we do in agriculture and why we value the environment, hopefully they will help us steward the environment for future generations.”

To date, the Thank you Farmers Project has raised nearly $2 million in support of the National FFA Organization, local FFA chapters and a variety of local agriculture organizations. To learn more, visit

About Culver's:

For over 30 years, Culver’s guests have been treated to cooked-to-order food made with farm-fresh ingredients and served with a smile. The ever-expanding franchise system now numbers more than 650 family-owned and operated restaurants in 24 states. The restaurants’ nationally recognized customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality. Signature items include the award-winning ButterBurger, made from fresh, never frozen beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit,, or

About the National FFA Organization:

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 653,359 student members as part of 8,568 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 local FFA alumni chapters throughout the U.S. 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. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress, and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the official National FFA Organization blog.