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Thursday, January 20, 2011

National FFA, its foundation form strategic alliance with federal government, Council for Agricultural Education

To develop agriculture students’ skills, leadership qualities, personal growth and career success, today leaders with National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to announce a new strategic partnership between FFA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Council for Agricultural Education.

The new partnership is aimed at preparing and motivating the youth of America to undertake the challenges and reap the rewards associated with life in rural areas, Vilsack said today in Washington, D.C. Vilsack said the USDA wants to work closely with FFA and the council to provide educational support and promote career opportunities in agriculture.

Under the agreement, FFA will work with USDA to identify needs and interests of agriculture teachers, students, communities, farmers, agribusiness and related groups. FFA will also collaborate with other USDA programs, such as 4-H and Agriculture in the Classroom, to extend ways to educate and inform students about agriculture and promote awareness of career opportunities within the agriculture industry.

The National FFA Foundation will pursue grants, cooperative agreements and contracts from both the public and private sectors to secure funding for collaborative projects.

The USDA will designate some within its top administrative staff to seek and communicate areas in which there is a match between the education delivery needs of USDA and the agriculture education initiatives offered by FFA and the council. The USDA will also identify and provide opportunities, resources, input and coordination between USDA programs and FFA, the National FFA Foundation and the council.

The council will work to bolster in-service education opportunities, develop forward-thinking instructional materials designed for agriculture teachers to utilize in their classrooms and help identify today’s needs and interests of agriculture teachers, students, farmers, agribusiness leaders and communities in general.


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