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By Erin Smith

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners learned about a planned expansion of the facilities at the FFA Camp located at White Lake.North Carolina FFA Foundation Director of Development Alycia Thornton told the board there will be a groundbreaking on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, for a new dormitory and male bath house.

Thornton was joined by Gerald Barlow, who is also with Future Farmers of America (FFA) North Carolina. She addressed the Commissioners regarding the North Carolina FFA Center initiative. Thornton told the Commissioners that there is a need for additional space for females and a need for renovations to the existing female dormitory. Plans are to add an additional 60 extra female bed spaces which would allow for 420 additional female FFA members to attend events. Thornton added there are also plans to construct a male bath house at the camp.

Thornton told the board that currently over 70 percent of the leadership positions in FFA are held by women. The number of females not only in leadership positions but also in agriculture education is growing and this has necessitated the need for growth in the accommodations for women at the FFA camp.

Thornton said efforts are under way to raise $1 million towards the construction costs. She told the Commissioners that philanthropic partners are still needed for the FFA initiative. Thornton shared that one farmer recognized FFA with a gift in his estate planning.

The groundbreaking for the work is planned for August 1 and the new building is expected to be completed in June 2019.

Thornton said the FFA Camp is there for the use of the community as well was FFA and Agricultural Education. To learn more about how your group can utilize the FFA Camp, contact Alycia Thornton at 919-513-7068 or by email at Alycia_Thonrton@ncsu.edu.

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