Generations of Giving

Click here to learn more about the FFA Corn Drive and the generational impact through an FFA family's lens
For the Koziolek family, finding ways to serve others has become a family tradition. Nicole Koziolek, along with her parents, Steve and Carolyn, have all
participated in the FFA Corn Drive, which supports True Friends. 

Watch or listen to their full story below:

During the Corn Drive, FFA members work with local farmers to collect corn, and donate the funds to support life-changing experiences for children and adults of all abilities at True Friends Camp Courage.

Nicole, who served as the Minnesota FFA State Secretary in 2021-2022, explained “It’s an activity that we all have been able to be a part of, and we can really see a difference being made in it – which allows us to you know, do part of our motto – ‘Living to Serve’.”

She added that her family has a long history with the Corn Drive, as her grandfather was part of the first ever Corn Drive in Freeborn, Minnesota.  

“His chapter, which was the Freeborn chapter, was the very first chapter to start the Corn Drive, and he was part of that founding group that went out and asked for donations of corn. And at that time, they had shovels, and they were picking cobs up from the field,” Nicole said with a smile.   

Now, FFA members collect truckloads of corn thanks to the generosity of local farmers, and the Corn Drive includes more than 50 FFA chapters from across the state, including Randolph FFA, Goodhue FFA, and Freeborn FFA, where members of the Koziolek family participated. Although it has grown and changed over the years as new generations come through the organization, the heart of the Corn Drive has remained the same. 

Steve, Nicole’s father and FFA alum, said he has fond memories of visiting Camp Courage in the late 70’s as an FFA member and talking with a mother who was picking up her son from camp. From that conversation, he learned how much Camp Courage meant to him, which made his involvement with the Corn Drive even more meaningful.  

Steve added, “She talked about how he lived his whole year to be able to come to camp…and just having her explain that experience of how important Camp Courage was to him – it made an impression on me and I still remember that today”.  

Nicole echoed, “I’ve been able to go to camps upon camps upon camps through FFA and other organizations, and those experiences that happen at the camps are just so meaningful. Being part of the Corn Drive really allows my family as well as others to help those around us to have those experiences that are needed, and that are very valuable for their life.” 

True Friends is grateful for the Koziolek family and so many others who have participated in the FFA Corn Drive over the years. This year, we are excited to celebrate over 70 years of partnership with Minnesota FFA and over $7 million raised through the FFA Corn Drive. To learn more about the Corn Drive, click here.

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