FFA has always been about agriculture, but its focus has been on education, leadership, career development, service, and community development. Now the organization is taking on a new role, that of being an advocate for agriculture. This year at the National FFA Convention several sessions are being held to help members become better spokespersons for all aspects of food, fiber, and energy production. Don Villwock, President of Indiana Farm Bureau, welcomes the new role by the Blue and Gold, “We in agriculture are such a minority anymore and folks have lost track of where their food comes from, so what a great role these FFAers can play, being spokespeople for our industry.”
Villwock said FFA youth are especially suited to reach the next generation of consumers, “They are very good adaptors of technology and can use Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their generation about agriculture.” He added that social media is a way that younger generations communicate, and who better to communicate the message of agriculture than the FFA.
Joe Kelsay, Director of the State Department of Agriculture told HAT that a well-organized and well-funded organization such as FFA can be a powerful advocate for Agriculture, “I can’t underscore enough how important that is because we have such an exciting story to tell.” He said the FFAers, both here at convention and back home, have the opportunity to share that story with their non-farm friends, “Now is the time to share the exciting ag story of how we have the food, fiber, and fuel for the future.” Kelsay added that having the FFA convention in Indiana for the past 7 years has in itself been a great advocate for agriculture to Hoosiers.