World Food Prize ceremony highlights global learning opportunities for ag students


On February 19, the World Food Prize Foundation hosted USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at their Hall of Laureates. He was there to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding  scaling-up the Wallace-Carver Internship program over the next five years.

The event featured young agriculture students and future leaders who will benefit from this program.

Trisha Collins, a former agricultural education student and FFA member at Pleasantville High School, opened the ceremony, welcoming everyone to the event and introducing Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.

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Ag Ed Advocacy Video Challenge


Our friends at the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) are excited to launch the first ever Ag Ed Advocacy Video Challenge. This challenge is designed to give high school and middle school agriculture teachers a fun way to teach their students about advocacy by creating a video that showcases how their program truly helps make students college and career ready.

The end result should be something you can show your school board, state representative, or a complete stranger to help them understand how your program makes students college and career ready. We’re looking for an entertaining, accurate and compelling story, in 2 minutes or less. Are you up to the challenge?

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The perfect partnership


This post was written by special guest bloggers Samantha Stotland, senior and FFA member at Wamago Agricultural Science and Technology Center in Connecticut, and Jamie Fischer, culinary instructor at Wamago.

Do you have a great story to share about your FFA chapter? Please submit it, along with a photo to We can’t promise we’ll post all of the stories, but we will post as many as we can!

Have you ever gone to McDonald’s and ordered french fries just as they came out of the fryer hot, golden brown, salted just right?  Then you open the ketchup packet, squeezing just the right amount onto the fried potato bliss.  That my friend is a perfect partnership!

As the union between a french fry and ketchup is the perfect partnership, so does the combining of Agriculture and Culinary based classes.  This marriage is the cornerstone of how the world’s food supply is brought to the dinner table.  Here at Wamogo, this union is showcased by the students who participate in these programs.

“Working in close connections with the Agriculture Department creates opportunities for Wamogo’s Culinary Arts program that normal schools that have Culinary Arts without an Agriculture Department would never realize.  Opportunities for my Culinary kids to work with the Tilapia farms, working with livestock, having the greenhouse, and maple sugar house will offer opportunities for students to collaborate and to work for a similar goal,” says Wamogo Culinary Arts instructor, Jamie Fischer.

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Agriculture degrees the hot ticket for job growth?

With the world’s population set to exceed 9 billion by 2050, global food production will need to increase by 70 percent. According to this news segment from Fox News, this means that jobs opportunities in agriculture will continue to grow.

fox news

(Note: Adrienne Bradley, who appears in this clip, was a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador in 2012!)

A related article in The Atlantic Monthly lists “Veterinarians” and “Animal Breeders” among their 13 jobs with the lowest unemployment rates in 2011 and 2012.

As always, it’s a great time to be an ag student!

Our Goals for 2013


This is a guest post by Jan Chronic, National FFA Director of Marketing, Communications and Brand Management.

In 2013, the National FFA Organization will continue to focus on advancing overall awareness and the global importance of agricultural education, all while keeping a constant eye on the needs of our members.  Over a year ago, our organization developed strategic long range priorities, strategies and goals.  In this new year, we will apply all of our efforts on these key areas:

  • Growing our resources:  this is fundamental to our ability to impact more students and make an increasingly positive difference in their lives.
  • Securing our relevance:  the rigor and relevance of our programs to industry, education and communities will be a consistent part of our 2013 agenda.
  • Improving quality of FFA programs, products and services.
  • Building relationships with those who play an integral part in agricultural education and agriculture in general.
  • Developing and managing our talent:  unlocking and developing the potential of all employees to help achieve FFA’s strategic goals.

We are looking forward to a great new year and especially continuing to work with all of our constituents in agricultural education as well as agricultural business.   Over the years, our priority has not changed.  Our priorities are deeply rooted in the mission of our great organization:

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

What are your FFA chapter’s goals for 2013?