Perspectives: Global Knowledge and Career Success

USDA Photo Courtesy of U.S. Wheat Associates

by Laura Johnson, Idaho Department of Agriculture

Global awareness has never been more important in agriculture than it is today. U.S. agriculture is dependent upon markets around the world for growth. Ninety-six percent of the world’s population and 80 percent of the world’s wealth are outside the United States. Middle-class populations are expanding rapidly in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and other parts of the world compared to the domestic, more mature U.S. market. Continue reading

More Than Pen Pals

Max Sherman has been in the classroom for 35 years, and a large chunk of that time has been spent preparing his students to be global citizens. He and wife Linda team-teach in Oregon at Tillamook High School, located in a small, rural town of 5,000. The husband and wife team sees the value in global awareness no matter where the kids come from or what their plans are after high school. Continue reading

FFA Q&A: Do You Need Global Awareness to Succeed in Agriculture?

Michael Rouse, the vice president of diversity, philanthropy and community affairs and president of Toyota U.S.A. Foundation, has been with Toyota for 34 years. In 2002 he met with the director of the National FFA Foundation and the National FFA Officers and was impressed by their presence and the statistics and stories they shared. Rouse then became intimately involved in strategies to diversify FFA and has been a key player in the FFA Diversity Project sponsored by Toyota since its inception. Here is a video of some of the great things Rouse and Toyota have supported. We spoke to Rouse to find out why global awareness is so important to students and their future.

FFA:  Why is it important for students to have global experience?

Michael Rouse: Whether they have global experience or not, the globe is coming to America and to them. Continue reading

FFA Costa Rica 2013: Days 1-4

The Costa Rica Proficiency and Stars Travel Seminar empowers FFA leaders by providing them with a global perspective. Through this experience, participants from across the country gain knowledge by visiting farms and agribusinesses. Participants eligible include all American Star Award finalists and one national finalist from each proficiency area. The 2013 experience takes attendees throughout Costa Rica from June 12-20. Each day, different participants report back home with a blog post about their experiences

Day One

After arriving in San José from Miami in the early afternoon, the FFA members checked in to a hotel and then took a guided sightseeing tour of San José—Costa Rica’s capital.

Hello from Costa Rica, day uno!

Of course, today was our first day in this neat little country, and we have seen so much already. We had an early start in Miami, from which we hurried to the airport on buses divided in our organized teams, checked in, made our way through security slowly but surely, and it wasn’t long before we were in the air.

Before we knew it, we were descending into a mountainous, green, and mysterious little country we have all been excited to see since October. Of course, one of the first things I personally noticed is the language. Hopefully we can remember at least some simple phrases from those high school Spanish classes we took years ago. Many of us are having quite an amusing time translating and attempting to speak with the ticos (“Costa Ricans”).

After arriving at our hotel, we were off with our tour guides, Jenny and Gustavo, as they showed us around the general areas of San Jose. We then stopped at what they called a typical middle class marketplace, a whirlwind of interesting sights! There were, of course, food shops full of raw meats, fruits that hardly any of us had seen, and cereal–yay Fruit Loops! One of our group members even experienced bargaining–how interesting! Continue reading

Get out there, and get your “Out Here” cookbook

out hereThis fabulous Out Here Cookbook is now available in Tractor Supply Co. stores nationwide. It’s full of great family recipes submitted by readers of their Out Here magazine.

Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook will benefit the National FFA Organization’s Feeding the World-Starting at Home initiative to fight global hunger. The cookbook costs $4.99, and $1.99 of each sale goes to FFA! (Maximum donation is $50,000.)

So get out there to your local Tractor Supply Store and pick up your copy today!


Sample recipe: Autumn Gold Pumpkin Cake

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More dispatches from Japan

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The National FFA Officer team embarked on a journey to Japan on January 28. Here are some  dispatches from their trip:

February 1st

Rise and shine, it’s tofu time!  Our travels began as we headed north out of Tokyo toward the Aomori Prefecture and the Taishi-food, INC tofu plant.  We first toured the facilities and learned how the tofu is made.  Tofu originated in China and has become a common item in the Japanese diet.  This plant produces 150,000 tofu cakes a day which are distributed all over Japan using an intricate delivery system managed by the Mitsui company.  After having a basic understanding, we made our own tofu!  While it was cooking, we tasted other types including fried and chocolate.  While not professionals our own tofu turned out well.  Terrific tofu!

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