Written by Nicole Krumrie
For over 60 years, FFA chapters across the state have been collecting corn donations as a fundraiser for Camp Courage. Donations from the Minnesota FFA have made it possible to send children and adults with disabilities to camp as well as help maintain and build additional facilities at camp like the Speech and Hearing Therapy building, a greenhouse, and a dining hall.
In 1953, the idea of the corn drive was born. Lee Asche and the Freeborn FFA chapter collected corn on the ground that had fallen to the ground after a large storm and sold it to a nearby elevator. They were able to raise $90 for Camp Courage, which allowed one Freeborn resident with Polio to attend summer camp.
Every fall, FFA members go into their communities requesting harvested corn or cash as part of the annual corn drive. FFA chapters that raise the most money in the state receive special recognition during the MN State FFA Convention held in the spring.
Joe Ramstad, Minnesota State FFA Sentinel, recognizes the importance of the longtime friendship that the FFA and Camp Courage have shared.
“Camp courage give others opportunities for activities that people may not have otherwise, it helps us to give back to the community and is another example of how we are ‘living to serve.’”
Ramstad offered tips for FFA chapters or community members that are wanting to raise more money or even get started in the drive.
“Getting the word out about when your FFA chapter is going to conduct the drive in your community will allow the potential to raise more money for this amazing organization. If you want to start a corn drive for your chapter or community, find a partner farmer who can work together with you to plan specific acres or plots that can be used to donate. With both of these, it is a good idea to spread the word on social media or other outlets in your community to get the word out”.
With the help of the Minnesota FFA, over 6 million dollars have been raised for Camp Courage since 1953! We acknowledge the hard work that these FFA members are doing and the community support to help this great cause. If you or your county organization would like to know more information about Camp Courage, or any other camps in the True Friends Organization, visit www.truefriends.org. For more information about the Minnesota FFA organization, please visit www.mnffa.org.