'Tis the Season to Give

Nov 14, 2022

Sara Clausen
Director of Comunications

Bushels for Ag Rewards FFA Chapters with the Gift of Grain

We might not be singing Christmas songs quite yet (okay, some of us are excited about Christmas all year long), but December really is right around the corner. This holiday season, Key Cooperative invites you to partner with us to give the gift of education!

For a decade, Key has been focused on developing Bushels for Ag, a one-of-a-kind program through which we donate hundreds of bushels of corn and soybeans to high school ag marketing classes. 

How do schools get involved? Each fall, Key Field Marketing Specialists contact local schools to either kick off their annual program or invite a vocational-agricultural class to participate for the first time. Today, we have 21 partner schools and local FFA chapters participating in Bushels for Ag. Each receives 100 bushels of corn and 40 bushels of beans from Key Cooperative, which students will market in a hands-on learning experience. Key member-owners can also designate bushels for donation to the program.

“This program is all about giving students a real-life experience,” said Key Field Marketing Specialist Greg Artz. “This program gives the class an opportunity to sell real bushels. It is not a simulation. The students realize the amount the bushels are worth could be higher or lower by the end of the school year, just like on an actual farm.”

Bushels for Ag is an effective program because students learn with a physical product. They carry out a management plan and actively participate in the sale of the commodity. “The decisions made by the students directly affect their profit," continued Greg."Not only do students learn about how grain marketing works - they see daily, weekly or monthly how market fluctuations affect their revenue goal."

Many of the best questions growers are asking today are related to productively marketing their grain. It's clear that volatility swings will continue into the foreseeable future; that means effectively marketing grain is one of the most critical phases of farming, now more than ever. Key Cooperative believes Bushels for Ag is a great way for our ag students to obtain a better understanding of how to properly market grain and stay engaged in agriculture as a whole. 

"Career opportunities within agriculture are endless," said Key Field Marketing Specialist Rick Weigel. "This program connects us with the future of ag!"

Members of the Key Grain team, including Greg and Rick, work with students throughout the entire school year. Classes often load up a bus and head to a Key Cooperative location for a tour of our elevators. "Our locations regularly get calls from students checking on daily grain prices,"said Greg. "Even better, the students have an opportunity to check our bids as the market trades on their phones, iPads, computers and other devices."

As harvest comes to a close, we are all turning toward the season for giving. We invite you to consider making a gift of grain to the Bushels for Ag program. Your donation will bring a lot of return for ag students! To partner with us and support your local FFA chapter, fill out the donation form here.

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