Youth in agriculture is a hot topic these days as the industry struggles with ways to support those who want to take part in agriculture. Companies, associations and industry groups invest in the challenge in their own unique ways.
Today at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, DeKalb announced the DeKalb Ag Youth Scholarship that will be funded at least in part by a new line of youth-oriented clothing they're calling WingWear.
Jim Zimmer, director of US business for Monsanto, says that 10 scholarships of $2,500 each will be funded by the new WingWear clothing line. According to Zimmer, the development of this scholarship continues DeKalb's commitment to agriculture youth. "That's demonstrated by the Ag Achievement Award which has been given to more than 150,000 students since it was developed in 1947," Zimmer notes.
The new scholarships will be awarded to high school and college students studying in the field of agriculture and will be distributed through the National FFA.
Jason Hoag, U.S. Marketing Manager for Dekalb, also spoke about the new clothing line and the importance of agriculture, noting the company wishes to bring agriculture to the forefront because it is the most important industry in the U.S
Kaitlin Weitkamp, Illinois FFA President, and Sam Meteer, Illinois FFA Vice-president, represented the FFA at the press conference. Jim Craft, Illinois FFA Executive Secretary, was recognized for his part in youth development.
The WingWear line is aimed at youth ages 15 to 24 and consists of graphic tees, crews, jackets, hats and bags.
DeKalb offered a preview of the line featuring clothes for both men and women. Their female line included the Retro Crew emblazoned with the DeKalb brand logo, the Kernal of Truth distressed tee and the rural sergeant hat. The male line featured the Country Boy Farm Tour tee, a Graphic Ringer tee and Messenger bag both with the Dekalb "wings" logo.
The clothing is available for purchase online at www.dekalbwingwear.com, and will also be sold at the National FFA Convention and other trade shows.