May 19, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

Kelley Buick supports youth in agriculture, annual raffle

2 min read

BARTOW, Fla. — Kelley Buick GMC in Bartow is blazing a trail for Polk County kids in agriculture by raising thousands of dollars for youth programs every year.

“It’s all about the kids — my dad started this program years go and we kept it going,” said Tyler Kelley, of Kelley Automotive group in Bartow.

Agriculture and the animals that keep the ecosystem going are all a part of Florida’s foundation and Kelley Automotive officials said that now more than ever, the folks that keep that foundation strong need the public’s support.

“We see the need to help the kids out at the local 4H and FFA programs (in Polk County) — my dad came up with a program called No Kid Left Behind, but the way that we do it is a Twenty Buck Truck (raffle),” said Kelley.

Kelley and his team at Kelley Buick GMC in Bartow raise more than $100,000 each year by raffling a brand new custom designed Buick Truck. The dealership provides the new truck, which was then decked out by seven other raffle sponsors.

All of the money raised goes to Future Farmers of America (FFA).

The money helps young people purchase and raise their own livestock, or help with growing and maintaining their own crops.

Then, once a year the kids have the opportunity to attend a youth fair where they can present their product and make money based on how well their harvest was that year, or the size and health of the livestock they raised.

“Every kid wants to do a hog or a steer because they bring the most money,” said Kelley. “So, these kids get up earlier, stay up later — sell them off to the highest bidder and all that money goes back to them. Most of the kids use it for next year’s project, or if they’re a senior they use it for college funds.”

However, the Kelley Buick team said their motivation wasn’t just about raising money — it’s also bout teaching kids the value and discipline behind hard work.

“These are the kids that get up early, stay up late and have the ultimate responsibility of making sure an animal survives,” said Jason Stokes of Kelley Buick GMC in Bartow. “These are the kids that are going to be running our cities in the future. Just because they’re in agriculture now — they’re learning responsibilities they’re going to carry forth throughout their careers, no matter what they are going to be.”

Stokes encouraged members of the community to stand behind the Future Farmers of America; one way you can do this is by joining the Twenty Buck Truck Raffle. It costs $20 to enter the raffle for a chance to win a fully decked-out GMC truck.

The winner for this year’s Buick will be announced on Oct. 12 for National Farmers Day.