Keystone Cooperative Donates $40,000 to Indiana FFA Foundation

Mar 06, 2024

In landmark support, Keystone Cooperative has deepened its commitment to the Indiana FFA Foundation by donating $40,000 to the organization in 2024. As the farmer-owned cooperative remains centered on the rural communities it serves, this gift signifies its increased commitment to youth agriculture education and leadership across the state.

The $40,000 gift will go towards amplifying efforts to educate youth about the rapidly evolving agricultural industry, including conservation, technology, leadership opportunities and beyond. Keystone recognizes the immense value of the FFA organization and the many benefits it affords its members. A remarkable number of Keystone employees were once active members of the FFA. Additionally, numerous employees dedicate their time, energy and expertise to the organization as volunteers, coaches, mentors and contest judges.

Formed through a recent merger between Ceres Solutions and Co-Alliance, two farmer-owned cooperatives headquartered in Indiana, Keystone Cooperative remains focused on developing opportunities for the next generation of agriculturalists. This $40,000 support level is a direct benefit of the recent merger.

“The very essence of the cooperative spirit is to work together to provide greater opportunities for those in agriculture and this $40,000 to the Indiana FFA Foundation is a testament to that. Keystone is committed to the Indiana FFA Foundation and its mission to provide leadership opportunities to those who will excel in the work force and will become the future leaders of the agricultural industry.” says Keystone CEO, Kevin Still.

To even further expand the impact of this donation, Keystone industry partner, Syngenta, is matching the $40,000 amount by giving $40,000 to the National FFA Foundation on Keystone’s behalf.

“The agriculture industry is evolving at a record pace, and aligned with that growth is Syngenta’s commitment to the FFA organization. We believe there is no other youth organization that teaches such leadership skills, and we’re thrilled to partner with Keystone on this momentous contribution to the National FFA organization,” said Vern Hawkins, President, Syngenta Crop Protection.

The Indiana FFA Foundation recognizes the impact this donation will have. “Indiana FFA is grateful for the partnership of Keystone Cooperative to influence positive growth in agriculture education and career development for more than 13,000 FFA members in Indiana”, said Tim Hoberty, Indiana FFA Foundation Board Chairman. “FFA depends on industry partners to be able to sustain these programs. Keystone Cooperative’s increased level of support of FFA demonstrates a commitment to agriculture for today and for the future.”

This level of commitment to the FFA organization coincides with Keystone’s recent launch of SEED (Securing Experience & Employee Development), a two-year program where recent high school graduates can be hired full-time at Keystone to explore the diversity of the cooperative, resulting in rewarding, fulfilling long-term employment opportunities.

This program is strategically designed for non-college-bound graduates who are ready to get to work rather than report to a classroom.

SEED employees will rotate through all areas of the business (Agronomy, Energy, Grain, Swine & Animal Nutrition and Corporate) to find the place where they can build a promising career in agriculture and energy. SEED employees will receive full-time benefits and pay and have any accreditations that are required for the job paid for by Keystone. At the conclusion of their two-year experience, they will work with the SEED program manager to evaluate their fit within the company and find the best opportunity for them personally.

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