National FFA Delegates Go All Out to Serve

By Cassie Olson

LOUISVILLE- Sarah Dornink knows something about advocating for agriculture…and the national FFA delegate process, too.

“The national delegate process affects where the organization goes,” Dornink, a delegate coordinator, said. “It’s a process that develops from the bottom up, beginning with the individual state associations, and ending in proposals to the National FFA Board of Directors.” Continue reading

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?


Ag teacher wins ACTE Teacher of the Year Award


Robin McLean, ag teacher and FFA advisor at the Northern Burlington County Regional School District in New Jersey, was recently named 2013 ACTE Teacher of the Year.

The award recognizes educators who have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career and technical education (CTE).

McLean collaborates with colleagues to help students apply the skills they are learning in language arts and math. She reinforces the concepts they are learning in their science classes and infuses literacy in her curriculum. She was selected to be one of three teacher mentors in national Teach Agriculture Day in Washington, D.C. McLean also serves as the middle school FFA chapter advisor, providing leadership, community service, career exploration, preparation for competitions and other enrichment programs for students.

Watch an interview with her here:

2013 ACTE Teacher of the Year Interview

This story was republished here  from FFA Pulse, our monthly e-newsletter. Subscribe today to get stories like these delivered directly to your email Inbox each month!

Corporate sponsors gave $16.2 million to FFA in 2012


Corporate contributions to the National FFA Foundation to support national FFA programs and agricultural education climbed to more than $16.2 million this year!

This year’s total exceeded the $15.8 million donated in 2011 and $15.6 million in 2010. Individual giving also rose to $558,000, up from $475,000 a year ago and $292,000 two years ago.

Pfizer Animal Health gave $1.27 million to FFA  to link veterinarians in local communities with FFA members planning careers in animal health.

Other million-dollar corporate contributors were CSX Transportation and RFD Communications, which operates RFD-TV and Rural TV.

Monsanto provided more than $890,000 to support national student leadership conferences, educational awards, awareness campaigns and more.

And, Cargill and General Mills committed more than a half-million dollars to fund the creation of a new food science and safety curriculum for agriculture students.

“Financially backing FFA and agricultural education creates critical educational opportunities for our students as they grow and learn about the science, business and technology of agriculture,” said National FFA Foundation executive director Rob Cooper. “Corporate and individual donations help ensure our students will become leaders with the core skills necessary to help feed a growing world population, put an end to hunger at home and abroad and meet the needs for food, fiber and renewable energy in ways that preserve natural resources.”

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Apply for an FFA Scholarship

Today marks the opening of our annual National FFA Scholarship program!

This year, we have $2.1 million to give away to students with a wide range of skills, interests and career goals.

Our more than 1,000 scholarships are sponsored by businesses and individuals through the National FFA Foundation.

The selection process takes the whole student experience into account:  FFA involvement, work experience, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), community service, leadership skills and academics. There are even some scholarships available to those who are not in FFA.

The application process is open from now until February 15. Get started today!

Enhancing Diversity in Agricultural Education

Originally started in San Antonio, Texas the FFA Enhancing Diversity project now focuses on three schools in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

The grants given through the project provide resources that will enhance student performance, teacher participation, teacher training and improve the quality of agricultural education programs.

In this video, teachers and students from Macon County High School talk about how the project has made a difference for them and their school.

The FFA Enhancing Diversity project is sponsored by Toyota.