“Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” This is the FFA motto and no one exemplifies it more than Mr. Fridtjov Bakk. It was the mid-1960’s, and Fridtjov Bakk reflected on his life as an immigrant farmer in eastern North Dakota and those who had made his transition from Norway to this country easier. Bakk had taken agriculture courses at a local high school and forged a relationship with FFA members that would impact North Dakota’s members for generations to come.
Making arrangements with his attorney, Bakk established a land trust that would provide future FFA members support to advance their interests in agricultural careers. In October 2006, this trust was transferred to the North Dakota FFA Foundation, Inc.
The North Dakota FFA Foundation Board of Directors immediately set out to make sure this trust was handled as Mr. Bakk had intended. Programs were developed that provide assistance to FFA members ranging from programs benefiting the youngest members to young farmers just starting their careers in agricultural production.
Land in Sargent and Richland counties is farmed and continues to produce revenue that supports FFA programs across the state. Since 2007, the generosity of this gift has been responsible for Beginning Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) grants, Expansion SAE grants, college scholarships, Young Farmer scholarships enrolled in the ND Farm Business Management program, and special projects: a gift totaling over $300,000.
The continuing legacy of this gift has and will continue to enhance the education and opportunities of the youth and young adults involved in agriculture in North Dakota for years to come. It is important that current and former FFA members and supporters know of the tremendous impact Bakk’s give has made and realize the lasting effect this gift has had and continues to contribute to agriculture’s future leaders.