U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will partner with National FFA to support youth, and prepare the workforce of tomorrow for unique careers in agriculture. Following their remarks, Secretary Perdue and CEO of the National FFA Organization, Mark Poeschl, signed a memorandum of understanding between USDA and National FFA.
“At National FFA, we are preparing our students to be tomorrow’s leaders in agriculture,” said Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA Organization. “Through this MOU, USDA helps us continue our vision of growing leaders, building communities, and strengthening agriculture. We look forward to our partnership and the ability to share our ideas with USDA.”
Under the newly signed MOU, USDA and National FFA will collaborate on both short and long term initiatives to motivate and prepare young people, connect them with opportunities in agriculture, food, and natural resources systems, and build appreciation for the reach and importance of agriculture.
The MOU was signed in Washington, D.C., during the National FFA Organization’s State Presidents’ Conference.
Agriculture Committee Chairmen Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX) also addressed the more than 100 state FFA officers, urging them to advocate on behalf of agriculture and take advantage of the plentiful jobs within agriculture. “Our country needs more people like you, who know where their food and fiber come from, the hard work it takes to get it from the farm to the store, and the value of the rural way of life,” Roberts said. “Your voice is important and deserves to be heard – not only in a few years after you finish college, but right now. This year, the United States Congress is considering legislation that impacts many of your daily lives and communities. Unfortunately, too many times the loudest voices are coming from those that do not understand production agriculture or even the rural way of life. That is why I am glad to see you here, learning about your capital, your legislature, and the importance of your voice.”
“FFA is at the heart of American agriculture’s future,” said Conaway. “For nearly 90 years, FFA has remained committed to providing youth with opportunities to achieve personal growth, premier leadership and career success through agricultural education. As we prepare to write the next farm bill, I appreciate hearing from FFA students about their interest and concerns in U.S. agricultural policy, applaud their dedication to the future of farming and ranching, and I remain confident the future of American agriculture rests in good hands.”