The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) has contributed more than $40,000 to support two projects the programs third quarter funding cycle of 2015. These projects meet the program’s mission to promote safe, responsible use and open, sustainable access for outdoor recreation.

The Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area in Pennsylvania and Stewards of the Sierras in California received funding through the Yamaha OAI this cycle.

Yamaha continues to seek qualified projects and applications at local, state and federal levels.

Outdoor clubs and organizations can now apply for a GRANT through the new OAI website at www.yamahaoutdooraccess.com. The updated OAI website features an improved application process, examples of previous GRANTs awarded to various projects, and social media support.

“As the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has grown and matured, the program’s website needs to better reflect the work being accomplished by those on the ground making sustainable access a reality for outdoor enthusiasts of all types,” said Nessl. “The changes to the website are intended to make it easier for outdoor clubs and organizations and land managers from across the nation to seek funding for projects that promote safe and responsible use.”

This funding cycle coincided with the 88th National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention and Expo in October, where Yamaha represented its ongoing commitment to promote safe, responsible ATV and Side-by-Side vehicle use to the future leaders of the agricultural community.

“The National FFA convention is an important opportunity to discuss riding habits for all uses of off-highway vehicles, particularly in agricultural settings,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV and SxS group marketing manager. “Off-highway vehicles are incredibly popular tools on farms and ranches. Teaching respect for vehicles and encouraging safe and responsible behaviors in all settings and uses is an important part of the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative’s expanded mission.”

Yamaha’s support of the National FFA and its members includes Yamaha’s annual sponsorship of the National Agricultural Proficiency Award for Outdoor Recreation. This year’s Outdoor Recreation Proficiency Award was awarded to Sam Alan Shaver of the Southmont FFA Chapter in Crawfordsville, Ind. Just before he was born, Shaver’s father began what would later grow into the largest off-road ATV race east of the Mississippi, the GNCC Ironman, on his family property. Growing up, Shaver would help his family prepare for and operate the race each year, and over time, he grew to respect and appreciate the work that went into planning the event. Using his experience, Shaver decided to host a 5k run on his family’s property, which now after four years welcomes more than 8,000 participants each year. The overwhelming success Shaver has had using his family’s property to host popular recreational events set him above the rest of participants for this year’s award.

“Each year, Yamaha proves their commitment in promoting responsible messages to National FFA members,” said Senior Regional Director of National FFA, Maggie Stith. “The National FFA is proud to align with Yamaha’s efforts to support the future of agriculture, and we thank them for their contributions to make the National Agricultural Proficiency Award possible every year.”

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