Mt. Angel, Ore., October 1, 2019
Wilco, a farmer-owned cooperative, is contributing over $170,000 to Future Farmers of America groups in Oregon and Washington thanks to record-setting donations from the retailer’s FFA Forever Month promotion during August.
Each August, Wilco encourages customers to donate at the register in each of their 20 Wilco retail stores. Wilco matches customer donations that month supporting the next generation in agriculture (up to $25,000). In addition, Wilco engages over 30 vendor partners in supporting FFA, each contributing $2,000 to support the organization.
“We are thrilled to see this level of engagement and excitement from our customers and partners around FFA. We understand the importance of agriculture to both local and national economies and love to see our communities’ contributing to the personal and professional development of the next generation in agriculture,” said Sam Bugarsky Wilco’s interim CEO.
FFA Month is just one of Wilco’s multiple annual initiatives supporting the brand’s larger FFA Forever program.
- A Silent Auction at the co-op’s Annual Member Meeting featuring products from vendors and other donations; in 2019, the auction raised over $10,000.
- A gift card program highlights an individual FFA student’s winning art design on store gift cards, with 10% of those gift card purchases going to FFA.
- An employee program allows Wilco staff to donate the monetary equivalent of their vacation time to a nonprofit of the employee’s choice, many of whom choose FFA.
- The brand also supports FFA livestock auctions and other Youth Programs.
Wilco has donated more than $1 million to the FFA organizations in Oregon and Washington since 2011. The majority of the money raised and donated by Wilco is delivered to the state organizations at their annual conventions, where Wilco also exhibits.
Wilco’s support for FFA also extends beyond financial donations: participating in the annual Drive Away Hunger Food Drive in conjunction with Les Schwab Tires, discounting supplies purchased by FFA chapters, and donating custom Pendleton FFA Blankets to chapter fundraising efforts, delivering additional financial value.
“We’re constantly looking for new ways to involve people around FFA. It’s an important youth leadership organization that we love to support – with our products, services, time, and dollars” said Trent Ricksger, Wilco’s Merchandise Manager. “Being a strong community member is part of our core values, so we love to see our customers, partners, and teams involved.”
Sponsors supporting the August FFA Month promotion include Georgia Boot, Animal Health Solutions/Equerry’s, Ariat, Associated Feed, Behlen, Benjamin Moore, Black Gold Baler Twine, Blue Buffalo, Bogs Footwear, Carhartt, Dewalt, Durvet, EQyss Grooming Products, Firman, Gallagher, Hutchison Western, Kellogg Garden Products/G&B Organics, Danner/LaCrosse, Livingston Seed/Plantation Products, Merck, Milwaukee, Priefert, RB Rubber, Rustoleum, Traeger, US Stove Co., Weaver Leather, Wrangler, Quikrete, WF Young/Absorbine, and Petmate.