"I can't think of a better place to celebrate the future of American agriculture and community service than the Brickyard 400," says David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 FFA + CSX Living to Serve Ford. "The FFA students bring so much energy, commitment and service to our country. It is quite an honor to drive for them."
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecar will feature a blue, gold and white paint scheme with the familiar FFA emblem on the hood.
CSX, the nation's third largest railroad, is one of six Platinum Sponsors for the National FFA Foundation, having contributed more than $1 million annually since 2011. Both of the organizations make citizenship and community service top priorities with their shared "Living to Serve" partnership, which is supported by the CSX "Beyond Our Rails" program. In 2014, more than $1.77 million in time was invested as part of Living to Serve and nearly 50,000 community members were served by 84 chapters in 34 states.
The two organizations work together on a number of initiatives to improve leadership, development, service-learning and environmental stewardship, including the following:
Living To Serve Environmental Grants (Up to $2,000 for chapter for an environmental service project the provides FFA members the tools to make a difference in their local communities -- around 70 of these per year are awarded)
State FFA Grants (22 grants of $10,000-$25,000 for an array of programs and activities)
National FFA Scholarship Program (Scholarships of $1k/yr
for 4 years)
State Officer Pathway Program (Training for state FFA officers to help enhance their confidence and leadership skills)
Washington Leadership Conference (Students learn to be effective leaders by learning their purpose, how to value people and how to take action to serve others)
Engagement & Stewardship Intern (FFA member gets CSR experience with a major corporation)
"Joining together at the Brickyard 400 is a great way to celebrate our partnership with CSX and continue our focus on 'living to serve' in the community -- especially by sharing the important message of safety first," said Molly Ball, president, National FFA Foundation.
"We're excited to celebrate this event with FFA, a critical partner in connecting CSX to the important agriculture market we serve and helping us give back in our local communities," said David Hall, resident vice president, state and government affairs, CSX. "With more 610,000 student members, FFA will be helpful advocates to promote the importance of using caution around railroad tracks to a teen audience, one of the most vulnerable age groups for rail-related incidents."
Outside of the race, CSX and FFA have an ongoing "Living to Serve" partnership, focused on community service and leadership development. CSX is one of six Platinum Sponsors for the National FFA Foundation, having contributed more than $1 million annually since 2011.
CSX will also be the primary sponsor of the No. 34 Play It Safe Ford driven by Brett Moffitt. FFA will assist in promoting the importance of using caution around railroad tracks to their teen audience, a key demographic in railroad safety education.
More information about CSX's national partners and safety messages can be found online at www.beyondourrails.org or by following #localmotive, an ongoing conversation about CSX's presence in the communities it serves through volunteerism, job creation, and moving the goods that are essential for the economy.