Southeastern FFA buys drone with grant funds

Southeastern High School FFA members display the drone the chapter purchased with Grants for Growing funding: (from left) Chad Spencer, Chapter President Peyton Hamilton, and Kody Keehner.

(Posted Sept. 1, 2023)

Southeastern High School’s FFA chapter in South Charleston has been awarded $2,489 as part of the Grants for Growing program.

The nationwide program, sponsored by Tractor Supply Co., provides grant funds to FFA chapters to support the development or improvement of agricultural education projects that enhance the classroom experiences for students through chapter engagement activities.

Southeastern FFA has used the funds to purchase a DJI Mavic 3 drone to use in conjunction with its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) course as part of the Agriculture & Production Systems pathway.

Students enrolled in the course will use the new drone to practice skills in flight and image capturing, among other uses. Students in the course will use the drone in compliance with FAA Part 107 and will have the opportunity to earn a Part 107 pilot’s certificate to pursue career opportunities in the UAV industry, specifically as it relates to precision agriculture.

The drone is also available for use by FFA members for their own needs to promote their supervised agricultural experience projects and to determine their interest and skills in using drones in the future.

The Grants for Growing program provided approximately $870,000 to FFA chapters in 42 states. Funding is provided through consumer donations made during checkout at Tractor Supply stores by purchasing a $1 FFA paper emblem. The fundraising period aligns with National FFA Week in February.

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members. There are 8,995 FFA chapters across 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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