Smithsonian welcomes famous former FFA jackets

Former president Jimmy Carter stands with 2003 Georgia FFA Vice Presidents Rachael McCall and Alex Tolbert.

Former president Jimmy Carter stands with 2003 Georgia FFA Vice Presidents Rachael McCall and Alex Tolbert.

In the past few months, we’ve asked you to help the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with your story of agricultural education. They’ve also been seeking old FFA jackets to add to their collection — but not just any FFA jacket.

Friday, all of your help came to fruition. Continue reading

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

FFA members can win Washington D.C. trip with USFRA

Here’s a cool opportunity for FFA members from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

Starting Feb. 18, FFA members are encouraged to draft and post a brief social media friendly “essay” (no more than 400 words) that starts with the writing prompt, “I am the future…” Continue reading

Lindsey Anderson: “Pleasant as well as challenging”

Cranberries ready for harvest

Credit: Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association

In September I got a fresh reminder of the values illustrated by the FFA creed, specifically in the second paragraph:

“To live and work on a good farm or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits can be pleasant as well as challenging.”

I was fortunate to spend a few days with the Wisconsin State FFA Officers on tour throughout their state, visiting agriculture businesses as well as a sectional leadership workshop each evening. We enjoyed seeing industries ranging from equipment manufacturing, to food processing and more. Continue reading

Brennan Costello: We Must Tell Our Story

FFA members compete in the Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event at the 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis.

by Brennan Costello

A recent video by a food retail chain has launched a lot of dialogue around the way our food is produced in the United States. The theme of the video promotes locally grown food – a great part of American agriculture – but it also paints an often inaccurate picture of modern American agriculture.

As a student who has goal of a future career in the agriculture industry, this is concerning. Everyone needs to eat, meaning everyone is affected by our agriculture industry. This connection makes it imperative that the general public both trusts and supports what we do. But this trust and support isn’t something that just happens magically. We have to bring the story to the public.

How can you help this?

We need to tell the story of agriculture that is clear and honest. We need to tell the story of agriculture that we’re rightfully proud of. We have to demonstrate the measures that agriculturists across the country and across the globe take to ensure food safety and bountiful supplies.

I recently had the chance to see firsthand an agriculture education program taking strides to inform its students – all students, not just the agriculture students – about how food goes from farm to fork. Continue reading