Today is National Ag Day and over 100 students are descending upon Washington, D.C. to share their ag story with legislators. Natalie Taylor of Hope and Grant Sanchez of New Paris, both Indiana FFA officers, arrived in D.C. yesterday to attend training about getting their message across clearly. Sanchez says the training has been one of the highlights of his trip.
“They’re teaching us about, not only sharing our story with the representatives, but how we can continue that in the future. Maybe it’s not with our legislators, but maybe it’s just with the public. Maybe it’s with someone who doesn’t really understand agricultural education.”
Vice President Mike Pence will keynote the National Ag Day event from the USDA in D.C. The Vice President will speak to youth agriculture leaders, as well as members of Congress, USDA officials, and prominent members of the agriculture community. Taylor will be one of those youth leaders as she is one of seven on the trip that will get to share her story with Pence and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“I actually don’t have any traditional agriculture background. I just happened to stumble across a pancake breakfast that my FFA chapter was holding at my school and I had no idea what the agriculture industry was. Then I joined that FFA chapter and started to really learn about the agriculture industry itself and how it affects my everyday life. It’s sparking that passion for me to go into the ag industry.”
Sanchez has meetings on Capitol Hill, most notably with Indiana Senator Todd Young’s staff.
“My whole story is going to be the importance of agricultural education. Sometimes our legislators may not make that connection of how FFA is tied in with agriculture. It’s so important to know that agricultural education is so important for the future of agriculture. No matter where we are, when it is, maybe it’ll be 50, 100, or 200 years from now, agriculture it will always be relevant.”
This is the 45th anniversary of National Ag Day. This year’s theme, is “Agriculture: Food For Life”. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced, appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products, value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy, and acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.