NEW ALBANY – Bob Evans Restaurants is paying homage to its founder’s farming roots by supporting and inspiring the next generation of agricultural leaders through its ongoing partnership with the National FFA Organization. As a continued investment, Bob Evans Restaurants is awarding supervised agriculture experience (SAE) project grants to nine high school student FFA members located across the country. This grant program also solidifies the brand’s commitment to our nation’s farming community and the spirit of innovation that brings the freshest foods to its restaurants and family tables across America.
Two Houston High School students are recipients of the grants.
Alex Kellersmith, Houston, Ohio, will produce new vegetable starters to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables to sell at a roadside stand in Lockington, Ohio.
Hayden Mowery, Houston, Ohio, seeks to increase garden space to expand the production of corn, cucumbers, squash and watermelon and begin selling produce this summer to make money for the State FFA Degree.
Ryan Kaverman, Spencerville, Ohio, is going to expand an existing vegetable plot by testing soil nutrient levels in order to increase yields and will utilize social media to sell crops to the public.
Applications for new, or expanded, SAE grant projects opened in the fall of 2020. The SAE projects are a requirement all FFA members must complete and consist of the students either creating and operating an agriculture-related business, working at an agriculture-related business, or conducting an agricultural research experience. Each recipient will receive $1,000 to help them achieve the goals they outlined for their SAE project this year. Upon completion, FFA members must submit a comprehensive report about their career development experience.
The funds from Bob Evans Restaurants will assist the high school students with entrepreneurial agriculture projects, such as expanding an organic garden to help feed their local community and growing fresh produce to assist local businesses. These experiential projects will help students learn more about agriculture, as well as how to run a business firsthand.
“Our namesake was both a farmer and an entrepreneur, so we’re excited to be able to fund these innovative agricultural projects and student-run businesses in his honor,” said Saed Mohseni chief executive officer for Bob Evans Restaurants. “At Bob Evans, we pride ourselves on bringing America’s Farm Fresh to the tables of our communities and we’re proud to help enable these students to provide farm-fresh food to their local communities. We look forward to seeing what each student will accomplish this year—and throughout their future careers in the farming industry.”
The 2021 recipients were selected from more than 5,968 applications nationwide. Individuals who received grants and their anticipated projects include:
For more information on Bob Evan’s Restaurant’s commitment to FFA, including information about how to get involved in FFA Week, taking place February 20 – 27, and Give FFA Day on February 25, please visit BobEvans.com/FFA. For more information about FFA, please visit www.FFA.org.