SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon FFA, an agricultural education and leadership organization, will receive funding from the state this biennium for the first time in eight years.

The East Oregonian reports that a measure approved by the Legislature appropriates $1.43 million to the Oregon Department of Education for FFA to provide financing for enrollment, leadership development and the coordination of 24 state-level competitions.

The funding will help make fees for joining the FFA obsolete. JD Cant, co-chair for Advocacy with the Oregon Agriculture Teacher's Association, said the fees have imposed a barrier for students taking agriculture classes who can't afford the $20 to join the FFA.

There are almost 7,000 students already enrolled in the Oregon FFA. Cant said the funding could help as many as 5,000 additional students.

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