#Borlaug100: Who was Norman Borlaug?

Dr. Norman Borlaug is a popular name this week. But who exactly is Dr. Borlaug?

Before we get too deep into his biography and impact, just consider this: Dr. Norman E. Borlaug is one of only three Americans ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Only Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Elie Wiesel join Dr. Borlaug on that prestigious list.

Dr. Borlaug — he passed away in 2009 — is at the forefront of conversation this week for a few reasons.

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Answer this: How will you help feed the world?

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As we celebrate both National Ag Day and the Norman Borlaug Centennial, The World Food Prize has a question for people everywhere: How will you help feed the world?

It’s a critical question for people of all ages as we confront what World Food Prize President Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn calls “the single greatest challenge in human history: whether we can sustainably feed the 9 billion people who will be on our planet in the year 2050.”

That’s quite the task, but we know FFA members and supporters have answers to this question.

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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

Celebrate CTE Superheroes During 2014 CTE Month

2014 CTE Month celebrating

2014 CTE Month

Happy 2014 CTE Month!

Spearheaded by the Association for Career & Technical Education, 2014 CTE Month encourages everyone to explore and learn the amazing accomplishments, achievements and contributions of those in career and technical education. Of course FFA — with our legions of members, former members, instructors and advisors involved in agricultural education — is large part of CTE in the U.S.

CTE celebrates cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant education — agricultural education is just one example — that is designed to prepare youth and adults for high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers. Naturally, we’re proud to be considered one of ACTE’s Career and Technical Student Organizations.

2014 CTE Month is celebrating “CTE Superheroes” and looking to spread stories about those who made a difference in the area. Find more info about that here.

Looking for an easier way to understand and explain what CTE is? You’re in luck, thanks to the this great ACTE infographic:

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Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Talks Farming Future With National Officers

2013-14 National FFA Officers meet with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack

Continuing a week full of impressive meetings and amazing experiences, the 2013-14 National FFA Officer Team met another member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet this week: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The meeting, at the USDA Whitten Building in Washington, D.C., followed time that the team spent with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Vilsack asked the national officers to “keep farming on the front burner” during the visit, according to the official USDA Blog:

“We are excited by the challenges you presented to us,” said FFA National Secretary Mitch Baker at the conclusion of a half-hour meeting of National FFA officers with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the USDA Whitten Building earlier this week. Continue reading

Katie Pratt Tells FFA Members to Lead in Agricultural Advocacy

Katie Pratt

By Caroline Weihl, National FA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

“Be the spark” were the words left lingering in the minds of the audience members. This challenge was placed upon them by a fellow FFA alumna and agriculture advocate. It is up to them to share their stories, just as she shared hers.

American farmer Katie Pratt dared the FFA members at the third general session of the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo to be on the cutting edge of food and agriculture dialogues because of their advantage in education and experience.

“I think FFA members have a real unique opportunity to share what they learn in the classroom setting with their community,” Pratt said. “FFA members are going to be on the forefront of communicating with their peers about what agriculture is.” 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.

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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

What Does a Veterinarian Do?

Large Animal Vet

Most of us think of veterinarians as being the medical caregivers for our pets, and that’s a true statement: Small-animal veterinarians represent more than 65 percent of all vets nationwide.

Those pet owners should bring their animals to a vet once a year for an annual checkup and necessary shots. But performing these check-ups is part of a small-animal veterinarian’s daily routine.

But did you know there are other specializations for veterinarians? Some veterinarians focus more on large animals, mostly farm animals. Large-animal vets often perform farm visits to do herd health checks or to treat a sick animal. These veterinarians often have a specialized truck, which holds medicines, equipment and other supplies necessary for these mobile services.

Click to check out a slideshow about veterinarians