INDIANAPOLIS -- The National FFA Foundation announced that Kubota Tractor Corp. is donating 15 utility vehicles and five portable commercial electric power generators to the Seeds of Hope campaign to help rebuild the agricultural education programs and assist FFA chapters in disaster relief efforts in five Gulf States hit hard by hurricanes in 2005.

"We are pleased that Kubota Tractor Corporation is joining the FFA Seeds of Hope effort to assist those who suffered extensive damage and loss from these hurricanes," said Dennis C. Sargent, division director of the National FFA Foundation. Sargent said the Kubota donation is valued at $200,000 and brings the Seeds of Hope total of cash and in-kind services to $770,000.

National FFA staff worked with state agricultural education leaders to identify schools needing assistance in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas. The RTV900 utility vehicles and power generators will be delivered to Kubota dealerships nearest to the school locations. Local school officials will then coordinate with Kubota dealers for pickup and service of the equipment. Distribution should be completed by April 2006.

"We want our Kubota dealerships in the school locations to be an integral part of the rebuilding process and to be available for service and help," said Greg Embury, vice president of sales at Kubota Tractor Corporation. Local Kubota dealers will prepare the units and provide basic training to the FFA advisors on the specific use and functions of the equipment.

Local FFA chapters can choose to donate use of the RTV utility vehicles and generators to local disaster relief agencies if they are working together. The FFA chapter will maintain ownership and possession of the equipment after relief efforts are completed.

A detailed description of the RTV900 utility vehicle can be found here.

FFA is a national youth organization of 490,017 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,210 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Kubota Tractor Corporation markets a complete line of tractors up to 103 PTO horsepower, along with a line of performancematched implements, utility vehicles, construction equipment, consumer lawn and garden equipment, and commercial turf products.

SOURCE: FFA news release.