|By MEGAN KUHN
TRAFALGAR, Ind. — Model tractor enthusiasts can add to their collections and support their state FFA program with a trip to a Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) store.
TSC’s State Tractor Program began in 2002 as a way to help state FFA programs, according to Denise Williams, merchandise project coordinator for TSC. All proceeds from the State Tractor Program benefits state FFA programs.
“We are a 5-star sponsor nationally and have programs to connect our stores locally with the local chapters,” Williams said. “We felt that this was a great opportunity to be able to connect with the state organizations.”
Currently eight states participate in the State Tractor Program. They are Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas. New York has plans to join later this year.
“The tractor series is a collector’s item for many, as well as an easy way to support Ohio FFA programs,” said John Collett, director of the Ohio FFA Foundation. “TSC’s dedication to the FFA program is outstanding and they are committed to its success down to each store’s involvement with local FFA chapters.”
How it works
Participating state FFA organizations choose what model of tractor to offer each year, according to Williams.
Generally the price ranges from $24.99 to $49.99, depending on the model choice. Each tractor has the FFA emblem somewhere on its body.
“The tractors are easy to identify because they have a large FFA emblem on the box,” said Brian Buchanan, executive director of the Indiana FFA Foundation.
Buchanan said that Indiana’s 2005 model, a John Deere 3020, is still available in stores around the state, as well as a limited supply of 2002, 2003 and 2004 models. “The 2006 tractor is a John Deere G,” he said. “However, the 2006 model probably won’t be out in the stores until later this spring.”
The Ohio FFA Foundation offers their tractors in a series of five models, according to Collett. The current series is John Deere late models. The series will be completed in 2007. “Our tractors are released just in time for the holidays each year,” he said. “The (John Deere) 4520 is the last model released.
“After the late model JDs, we will start a series of five Allis-Chalmers. The 2006 model will be announced and delivered to the stores before Thanksgiving this year.”
Collett said the State Tractor Program has raised more than $90,000 for the Ohio FFA Foundation since 2002. He added that the state originally started the program in 1993 with Quality Stores.
Although Indiana doesn’t have the amount of tractor sales as Ohio, Buchanan said that the Indiana FFA Foundation annually received about $10,000 from the tractor sales.
“The tractor sales are important because they provide essential funding for Indiana FFA to operate our programs,” Buchanan added.
“The bottom line is that it costs us a lot of money to offer the programs that we do. We are grateful for all the sponsors we have.”
Where the funds go
Both Buchanan and Collett said that the funds from the State Tractor Program are essential to their organizations.
The money earned from tractor sales in Indiana generally go towards funding activities at the state convention, according to Buchanan.
“The funds from the TSC program are directed to the general fund of the Ohio FFA Foundation, which is used to support unfunded and new projects for the more than 23,000 Ohio FFA students,” Collett said.
He also believes that TSC’s dedication to the FFA program is exceptional and that they understand what FFA brings to its members.
“Tractor Supply believes in the mission and values of the FFA,” said Williams. “In supporting the FFA, we are supporting the future of agriculture.”
To find the nearest Tractor Supply Company store, visit the TSC website at www.mytscstore.com
This farm news was published in the February 22, 2006 issue of Farm World.