Update (13Nov22):  Grants are no longer being accepted for FIRST LEGO League Challenge, FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition as the deadlines outlined below have passed.

Teams must apply and get approval for the John Deere FIRST grant PRIOR to completing (paying for) registration for the 2022-2023 FIRST season. You can register with FIRST but SHOULD NOT PAY for your registration as you will forfeit receiving a John Deere grant.

Please review this grant application carefully, changes have been made for 2022 – 2023 with deadlines to apply as follows:

John Deere and FIRST are together committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion which encourages teams to be more innovation, creative, and make better decisions. We encourage your team to support and encourage diversity within your team.

For FIRST teams that receive a John Deere grant, one of the requirements is for all coaches, lead mentors along with FTC & FRC students to take the free, three part, on-line FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training with this link if not taken before. This will help your team to use the strategies for better recruitment and support.

John Deere grants are focused on increasing the participation and positive outcomes for students in John Deere home communities who historically have been underserved and underrepresented in STEM (Engineering, Computer Science/IT, and Manufacturing). This focus is supporting John Deere’s Bold Commitment of reaching at least one million underserved/underrepresented youth by 2030.

Thanks in advance for your gracious professionalism to help us together to further grow FIRST for all!

Current U.S. & Canada John Deere Inspire Home Communities
United States:

  • California - Torrance
  • Georgia - Augusta
  • Illinois - Champaign, Chicago, Quad Cities
  • Iowa - Des Moines, Dubuque, Paton, Ottumwa, Quad Cities, Waterloo
  • Kansas - Coffeyville, Olathe 
  • Louisiana - Thibodaux
  • Missouri - Springfield
  • North Carolina - Raleigh-Durham
  • North Dakota - Fargo & Valley City
  • Tennessee - Greeneville
  • Texas - Austin 
  • Wisconsin – Horicon


  • Alberta - Edmonton 
  • Manitoba - Altona
  • Ontario - Grimsby
  • Ontario - Oakville
  • Saskatchewan - Regina

Outside the U.S, John Deere supports FIRST teams using separate grant processes for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams with local FIRST partners currently in: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, India, and Mexico.  

Team Grant Eligibility:

  • Teams supported by John Deere last season (2021 – 2022) must submit a John Deere post season survey BEFORE submitting a grant request for 2022 – 2023.
  • Teams must be associated with a school (public or private) or 501(c)(3) non-profit in the U.S. (i.e. 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.) or a registered charity outside the U.S.  
  • Although not required, a preference will be given to teams that have a John Deere confirmed mentor or request a John Deere mentor with the grant request.
  • Teams need to be located  within a 40 mile (65-kilometer) driving distance from the nearest John Deere office (excludes John Deere Dealers) in a John Deere Inspire home community.  For teams in Austin, Chicago, and Torrance (Los Angles), they need to be located within a 15-mile driving distance.
  • Alternatively, teams can apply for a grant in any U.S. or Canada location if they have a John Deere employee committed to actively (40 volunteer hours or more) supporting their team in person or virtually for the 2022 - 2023 season regardless of location.

The makeup of the active students on the team must meet one of the following three criteria:

  • 50% or more underserved based on low income. In the U.S. this is based on the % eligible for free and reduced lunch for the school or non-profit overall.
  • 50% or more underrepresented in STEM which in the U.S,  includes Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American and girls and globally girls, Indigenous, youth that have a disability or identify as LGBTQ+.
  • Rural teams  - In the U.S as classified by NCES as Rural Distant (42) or Rural – Remote (43).

FIRST Robotics Competition teams that don’t meet the requirements for underserved/underrepresented or rural and have one or more confirmed John Deere mentors, are eligible for a grant if they:

  • Can confirm when applying for the 2022 - 2023 season, they are already supporting one or more new or returning FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams, three or more FIRST LEGO League Explore teams, or one FIRST Tech Challenge teams with 50%+ underrepresented or 50% underserved students.
  • When applying for a grant, provide the team number(s), team name(s), and team contacts (name, email) for teams supporting and John Deere grant number if provided and known.
  • The requested support is through volunteerism with mentoring and coaching with a minimum commitment of 40 hours or more by the team.
  • FRC Teams are not expected to provided funding with separate grants available from John Deere for the supporting underserved/underrepresented teams.

FIRST teams that don’t meet the grant eligibility requirements above and have one or more confirmed active John Deere mentors, can apply to be a John Deere team. If approved, no funding will be provided upfront with potential funding provided if the team qualifies for the FIRST World Championships. Oher funding for the team is available via the updated, generous John Deere's Dollars for Doers program through the John Deere mentors.

Other notes:

  • Teams that apply and receive a rookie grant are expected to participate and utilize the grant supported materials for two years or more.
  • One grant application is required for each team requesting support. If individual grant applications are submitted with multiple team numbers, the grant will be declined.
  • For approved grants, funding levels will vary for new and returning teams based on team financial need. The grants cover costs normally paid to FIRST by teams such as official team registration, robot kits or parts, and field setup kits. Examples of costs that are not covered with the grants include registration for local FIRST events, travel costs, and team shirts.
  • The goal is to notify teams on their grant status within 3 weeks of submission. Please note, it will take additional time for an approved grant to appear in the team's account.
  • If you have not been notified of the status of your grant request within three weeks, you can check on the status by sending an e-mail to Inspire@JohnDeere.com.
  • If you have questions regarding your team's account or registration after being approved, please contact FIRST Operations at (800) 871-8326 or e-mail teamgrants@firstinspires.org
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