Soroco Future Farmers of America chapter receives grant funding |

Soroco Future Farmers of America chapter receives grant funding

Members of the Soroco Future Farmers of America participate in the Oak Creek Labor Day Parade in 2018. The Soroco FFA chapter recently was awarded a grant to help expand its student educational opportunities.
Jim Patterson/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

The Soroco Future Farmers of America is one of three FFA chapters in Colorado to receive a grant to help expand student opportunities.

According to the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee, the Soroco FFA chapter submitted its grant proposal to improve the capabilities of Soroco Meats, a food processing lab and storefront that provides facilities for students to practice food processing, packaging, safety and marketing standards.

“The grant we received from the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee will allow us to purchase essential supplies to operate the meat processing and food lab,” said Reece Melton, Soroco FFA advisor. “Without their support, we would be delayed in our instruction and drastically further away from ensuring this facility is self-sustaining financially.”

The Soroco FFA chapter offers a broad selection of pathways for students to explore, according to Melton, who said the local chapter aims to help students focus their interests with career-ready training in high quality facilities, ultimately preparing students for the workforce or higher education opportunities alike.

“And with our food/meat processing kitchen, expanded shop and greenhouse, students will have hands-on learning opportunities in high school that they might not even experience until their junior and senior years of college,” Melton added.

The Soroco chapter is also looking forward to opening its kitchen storefront, where students and community members can sell their own products to consumers. Additionally, Melton said the chapter hopes to offer its facilities to local processors, chefs and caterers in an effort to stimulate and support other local businesses.

According to the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee, positive community impacts like these were important considertations in the FFA chapter grant applications.

“The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee is proud to provide grants to these FFA Chapters, so they have the tools to develop agriculture’s leaders of the future,” said Nicholas Colglazier, executive director for the committee, in a news release. 

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