Iowa FFA Enrichment Center Gets $1 Million

Prominent citizen challenges others to "Lead by Example" as he makes big donation to help build new facility.

Published on: Sep 28, 2006

Dennis Albaugh of Ankeny, Iowa, is giving $1 million to help build The FFA Enrichment Center, a state-of-the-art leadership development facility, on the Ankeny campus of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Albaugh, a native of Ankeny, made the announcement September 18.

He was in one of the first classes to graduate from DMACC's ag business program a number of years ago and he is a former FFA member from Ankeny.

"The residents of Ankeny will also benefit greatly from the opportunities this new Center will provide. I am asking my partner in the Prairie Trail Development-the City of Ankeny-to consider making an additional gift of $1 million from the $25 million Civic Fund established as a part of Prairie Trail," says Albaugh.

FFA and DMACC gave him a start

"Agriculture has been my business for my entire life and both FFA and DMACC have played important roles in shaping my career path," he says. Twenty-five years ago he started Albaugh, Inc., which is now the crop protection industry's largest independent manufacturer of crop chemicals and pesticides.

"Many cooperative opportunities exist between the FFA and DMACC," he says. "I'm glad to help them build a facility that will better prepare Iowa's young people, who represent the future of agriculture and our state."

Helping young Iowans uncover new career paths in Iowa agricultural science and to provide hands-on learning opportunities not currently available to Iowa FFA members are key objectives of The Enrichment Center, says Ed Wiederstein, a farmer from Audubon and chairman of the center's capital campaign committee.

"The facility will provide resources such as state-of-the-art ag science labs to enhance learning opportunities for FFA members and DMACC students," says Wiederstein. "By sponsoring the center, Dennis Albaugh is making a positive and strong statement about his belief in the future of agriculture in Iowa and in its up-and-coming leaders."

What is the FFA Enrichment Center?

"Dennis Albaugh is a global leader in agribusiness, yet he remains committed to Iowa agriculture and to his hometown of Ankeny. We applaud his dedication," adds Wiederstein. "The theme of our capital campaign is 'Lead by Example,' and Dennis is doing that. We appreciate his generosity and his challenge to other business and community leaders to also support The FFA Enrichment Center."

With 75,000 square-feet of classrooms, greenhouses and laboratories the center will provide educational development and leadership programs for more than 12,000 Iowa FFA members and 245 ag education instructors. A partnership with DMACC will allow FFA members and teachers to learn from DMACC instructors in various areas including agribusiness, veterinary technology, horticulture and viticulture. FFA alumni and members of the business community also will be able to participate in programming on site, as well as through long-distance learning.

The center will have teaching facilities, meeting rooms, the Monsanto Center for Biotechnology, Iowa Farm Bureau Biotech Lab, Pioneer Agriscience Computer Lab, vet technology labs and the Cargill Communications Center with fiber optic connection. For information about the facility or the capital campaign, contact Mary Boote, 309 Court Ave., Suite 214, Des Moines, IA 50309. Phone: (515) 274-0800 or e-mail