By Todd Lighthall, Executive Director of the NYS FFA Foundation at the Oswegatchie Educational Center
In the woods of Croghan, there is a year-round educational retreat facility that is known locally as the Oswegatchie FFA Camp or the Oswegatchie Educational Center. Since 1946, the FFA has been bringing youth from all over to enjoy Lewis County.
In 2017, New York State made available to the New York FFA Foundation a $2 million-dollar SAM grant for building a new dining hall at Oswegatchie. The total project is estimated to require $3.3 million for completion.
Why is this project happening?
Since 1946 Oswegatchie has been the Adirondack home of the New York FFA. The year-round popularity of this camp has grown immensely over the past 20 years. Camp enrollment alone has grown from a camp with 314 in 1999 to over 844 in 2018. Additionally, Oswegatchie has guests on site every week of the year. On average,6,000 guests a year visit. Current facilities cannot sustain this usage. The new kitchen and dining hall will insure that Oswegatchie exists for many more generations.
Since April 2018, 356 individual donors have helped us raise $660,000 with donations ranging from $5 to $100,000. Our next benchmark is to raise $350,000 by March 1st. If successful this will bring us to $1 million raised or pledged to support this project. FFA Chapter themselves have pledged more than $125,000 to invest in this project.
Why would someone locally want to support this project? Oswegatchie represents a sustainable people based business industry that is bringing 95% of its customers from outside the area. The $2.6 Million currently raised is all coming from outside the area. This is a sizable investment in Lewis County.
We do need help in making this a reality. Any donation will make an impact for generations. Opportunities for naming rights are still available.
For More information about NYFFA Leadership Training Foundation, Inc, You can find it at www.nyffafoundation.org and www.oswegatchie.org. A great day to visit would be for the famous AdironDUCK Race on April 28th, learn more at www.adironduckrace.com .
More information about NYFFA Leadership Training Foundation, Inc.: The New York FFA Leadership Training Foundation supports young people who want to study agricultural sciences or to be engaged in agricultural careers.
Fundraising team: Oswegatchie & NYS FFA Foundation (13)