Agriculture is one of the largest industries and economic contributors in our state. Ohio’s food and agriculture industry accounts for $107.9 billion of direct economic output, 18% of the state’s economy and over 778,000 jobs (1 in 8) statewide. Yet as vast and proactive as our agricultural industry is currently, projections indicate that in the next 10 years, we will need:
470,000 new workers in agribusiness.
90,000 new workers in direct farming operations.
Where will this workforce come from? How will we sustain the No. 1 industry in the state?
The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation believes that an increased focus on careers in agriculture will have a direct impact on the strength of the farm and food community, the security, and availability of food for the future, and the well-being of Ohio.
The Youth Pathways Grant for Careers in Agriculture is the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s signature grant program designed to help young people discover their purpose and passion in agricultural careers through programming that introduces them to the educational and employment possibilities related to farming and other ag-related careers.
The foundation intends to award grants to organizations that exhibit innovative program design, utilize partnerships between community organizations and demonstrate program sustainability statewide. As a partner, the foundation seeks to support efforts that successfully prepare students for post-secondary training or direct placement in ag-related industries. Preference is given to organizations that are in need of funds to scale innovation for long-term programming initiatives and success.
There are two tiers of grant awards:
Youth Pathways Program Growth Grant (up to $25,000) – At this level, preference is given to organizations that are amplifying their work and working to build out their program.
Youth Pathways Program Sustainability Grant (up to $75,000) – At this level, proposals must be focused on growing an already existing, successful program with emphasis on their sustainability plan. *Recipients of this grant level may not apply again within a three-year period.
All Youth Pathway Grant applicants are required to partner with one or more county Farm Bureaus and one or more regional K-12 pipeline entities, including but not limited to, regional Education Services Centers (ESC), Career Technical Centers (CTC) and school districts. County Farm Bureaus who were previously awarded a Workforce Development & Ag Literacy Grant are eligible to receive a Youth Pathways Grant. Applicants are encouraged to apply for the appropriate grant level that can ensure growth in their program and sustainability in the future.
Who is eligible?
Grants are typically made only to nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code, or who have a fiscal sponsor with this status. Under certain circumstances, applications from organizations that do not meet this criteria, but are providing a charitable program, may be considered.
2023 Award Information and Important Dates
Sept. 1 – Sept. 30: Pre-submission Pitch Session Registration Oct. 6: Pitch Session from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (in-person; must be available for entire duration of meeting) Oct. 6 – Oct. 31: Final Proposal Submission December 2023: Anticipated Award Date
All grant applicants must participate in the pre-submission pitch session. The pitch session is an opportunity to present your idea before the Youth Pathways Advisory Committee to gain valuable feedback and refine your proposal for final submission. The 2023 in-person pitch session will take place Friday, Oct. 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ohio Farm Bureau office in downtown Columbus. Each presentation must use the pitch session slide template.
Upon completion of the pitch session, all organizations will have the opportunity to refine their proposal for a final submission between Oct. 6-31, 2023.
The Youth Pathways Grant recipient(s) will be notified of their award no later than Dec. 15, 2023.
For questions regarding the Youth Pathways Grant for Careers in Agriculture, please contact the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation at [email protected].