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(Jefferson City) – The Missouri Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler, has announced that two groups from south central Missouri were awarded grants from the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s 2013 Building Our American Communities grant program. Eleven local chapters of the National FFA Organization and nine Missouri 4-H clubs statewide have been granted funding for their community service projects this year.

The Rockin Ranchers 4-H Club, the Willow Springs FFA Chapter, the Dora FFA Chapter and the Maverick 4-H Club plan to upgrade local community buildings through their service projects.

The Rockin Ranchers 4-H Club and the Willow Springs FFA Chapter, of Howell County, along with the Dora FFA Chapter of Ozark County, are working together on a project to create seating areas and livestock facilities for the Heart of the Ozark Fairgrounds in West Plains. With the grant funds, improvements will be made to make the fairgrounds more comfortable and appealing to exhibitors and visitors.

The Building Our American Communities program has been supporting youth projects since the 1970s. Each year, youth organizations throughout Missouri submit proposals for consideration for the grants, which range from $100 to $500 and support specific projects within each community. The grants are funded through Missouri’s Agriculture Development Fund under an agreement with the USDA.

4-H clubs and FFA chapters awarded grants this year must complete their projects no later than September 1, 2013.

For more information on the Department and its programs, visit mda.mo.gov.

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