CHS student receives $1,000 grant from National FFA Organization

Published 3:32 pm Thursday, February 17, 2022

From Staff Reports
To some, farming might seem like a lot of hard work! To others, maybe an enjoyable hobby. But for this Cloudland High School student, raising goats has become a perfect combination of the two, that has also resulted in quite a large sum of money, sent directly to her! Not even “kidding!”

Charleigh Dugger, a sophomore at CHS, was awarded a $1,000 Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grant from the National FFA Organization, also known as the Future Farmers of America. Charleigh is the daughter of Adam and Jill Dugger and is an active member of her school’s FFA Chapter.

Dugger was one of only 12 students in the state of Tennessee to be selected as a recipient of an SAE grant through FFA National and several corporate sponsors, according to CHS FFA Advisor Lauren Turbyfill. The grant cycle was open to FFA members across the country with only 386 grants being awarded nationwide. Dugger’s application was selected from among 1,086 applications in this cycle.

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The grant Dugger received from the Animal Health Solutions & Pharmaceutical Company, “Amerisource Bergen,” will be applied to her Supervised Agricultural Experience project in Diversified Livestock. She wishes to expand her goat herd and provide enclosed housing for her goats in the wintertime.

“Supervised Agricultural Experience” is a term coined by the FFA to describe work experience the students gain in any field of agricultural studies, such as foods, fibers, and natural resources. As part of the FFA program, the students can choose to be placed with an employer or have the opportunity to begin an entrepreneurial venture.

The grant will help Dugger improve and grow her SAE project, which is a requirement a student must complete if they are working toward earning their State FFA Degree, and later their American FFA Degree.

“Charleigh is a very driven and motivated young lady who works diligently in our FFA Chapter to see that tasks are completed, without even being asked to do so,” Turbyfill said. “She is dedicated and very passionate about ensuring that her life and future involves agriculture.”

To date, Charleigh is the 3rd Cloudland FFA member to receive an SAE Grant, followed prior by two young ladies who received funds to build their very own greenhouses! “It sounds like a nominal amount to adults, but to a teenager, this is a life changing gift! Something that gives them the confidence & opportunity to challenge themselves to try something new,” Turbyfill said. “I am so proud of Charleigh and believe her future is very bright in Agriculture!”

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The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 735,000 student members as part of 8,817 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.