ICAL 2014: Days 1-3 in Japan

Editor’s Note: The International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership (I-CAL) program travels overseas to learn about global agriculture and international marketing. The group of 12 Collegiate FFA members departed the U.S. on May 20 for a 10-day tour of Japan where they engaged U.S. Embassy officials and government leaders; toured feed mills, animal markets, small farms and livestock operations; and toured food processing plants, among other activities. ICAL 2014 is made possible through support from The Grains Foundation.

Day 1 – We’re in Japan!

The ICAL 2014 group prior to departure.

The ICAL 2014 group prior to departure.

Our flight went really well. It was about 12-hours and during the flight we flew over the Alaskan Islands, which was pretty cool! We were on one of United Airlines’ new planes called the Dreamliner and it was phenomenal. Even the food was tasty!

We met Tommy Hamamoto, Director of the US Grains Council in Japan, at the airport and drove about 1-hr to Tokyo from Narita. It was rainy and cloudy, which seems to be a common trend here in Japan.

We drove past Disneyland, Tokyo and over a couple of waterways that led to the Pacific Ocean. It’s strange to think that we’re now on the opposite side of the ocean from the U.S. Continue reading

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FFA Link: Your Way to Career Success

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Network with industry leaders and young professionals with new FFALink

By Hannah Kleckner, newsroom and media relations intern

LOUISVILLE – As a young professional and FFA member, a career within the agriculture industry may be in your not-so-distant future. It’s no secret, though, that landing an actual job isn’t always an easy process. But fear not; if a “connection to success” is what you’re looking for, FFA Link is here to help.

FFA Link is a newly established exclusive group of college students and young professionals ready to connect their passion for agriculture with real-world career skills.

Continue reading

Intern Insight: On the Job Opportunities

Each summer, the National FFA Organization and its supporters offer internship opportunities for college students looking to gain experience in various roles. It’s a great fit for students looking to grow professionally in numerous areas while boosting their future qualifications. This summer, we’ll offer a chance for several of those interns to journal their experiences here in Intern Insight. This is the second entry from Ellen Reeder, a corporate communications intern for John Deere.

Ellen Reeder

Ellen Reeder

Last week, I spent several days out of the office traveling for my internship.

My first out of office visit was to a John Deere dealership in Dixon, Ill. I grew up going to the John Deere dealership in my hometown, but I was always the errand girl. Being the errand girl means one thing: something needs fixed and you’d better not waste any time. That consequently meant that I was never able to actually ask any questions of our dealer.

Last week, I got to sit down for a roundtable discussion with two other interns, a dealer, and a territory manager. I asked questions until I was blue in the face. Continue reading

Intern Insights: Week 7 With Jon

Each summer, the National FFA Organization offers internship opportunities for college students looking to gain experience in various roles. It’s a great fit for students looking to grow professionally in numerous areas while boosting their future qualifications. This summer, we’ll offer a chance for several of those interns to journal their experiences here in Intern Insight.

J_CalhounZip. Zero. Zilch.

We are done.

New Century Farmer 2013 is in the books – a surreal statement that has yet to really sink in with us here at the National FFA Organization. It seemed like yesterday when I was starting here in Indianapolis and was being briefed on all that we had to do for New Century Farmer.

Des Moines was all too good to us and words cannot describe the fantastic New Century Farmer class of 2013. I am still blown away by the size and scale of operations that these folks are running at my age, or even younger. It’s rather amazing in my book that these students are able to attend and excel in school as a full-time student, manage their farm operations, and are still able to join us for a week in Iowa to grow professionally. Continue reading

Intern Insight: Nathan’s “Stage Crew”

Each summer, the National FFA Organization offers internship opportunities for college students looking to gain experience in various roles. It’s a great fit for students looking to grow professionally in numerous areas while boosting their future qualifications. This summer, we’ll offer a chance for several of those interns to journal their experiences here in Intern Insight.

N_DaningerIt never occurred to me that at the end of every American Degree, proficiency, and agriscience fair project, there is a real, live person reviewing it. This summer has been my chance to hear the stories of the people who work on the other side of FFA. Though they may not wear the blue jacket, they certainly make an impact on our organization. Those who work behind the scenes at FFA may be largely faceless to the average member, but they make the events that happen possible. People with names like Rebecca, Marilyn, Jenna, Kiesto, and Blaze take the vision of FFA and turn it into reality.

On a day-to-day basis I work with State Officer Programs under Shane Jacques. I engage sponsors in conferences, help prepare for State Presidents’ Conference, and generally do small things that contribute to the larger picture of State Officer resources. As I work at the center, I see more and more how FFA is the contributions of many people, over decades, who have realized a million small goals. These goals form the collage of our organization. FFA employees are kind of like the stage crew at a Lady Gaga concert. They aren’t the focus of attention, but they sure make a difference in how the show turns out. Continue reading