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Organizations partner to strengthen future agriculture talent pipeline

Primary objectives is to create seamless pathway for young individuals to transition from FFA to AFA.

November 27, 2023

3 Min Read

In the dynamic landscape of American agriculture, two powerhouse organizations, Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and the National FFA Organization, recently made their partnership official – signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during AFA’s Leaders Conference in November. The MOU cements a bond that has existed for many years and underscores a shared commitment to developing and empowering the next generation of agricultural leaders.

“Many generations of AFA students and alumni have grown up in their local FFA chapters,” says Scott Stump, chief executive officer of the National FFA Organization. “This MOU is a logical next step in what has long been a mutually beneficial friendship between our two organizations. AFA and FFA have similar goals and values regarding the role of school-based agricultural education. We are excited to work hand in hand with AFA as we continue to foster engagement and leadership in agriculture and retention in agriculture career fields.”

The National FFA Organization plays a pivotal role in inspiring more than 945,000 FFA members across 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to become involved in agriculture and related fields. FFA programs focus on premier leadership, personal growth and career success and are instrumental in fostering the next generation of agricultural leaders.

AFA is dedicated to strengthening the competitiveness of the food and agricultural industry through building transformational leaders. AFA has a strong track record of empowering college students with the knowledge, skills and experiences needed to take on leadership roles within the agriculture industry. By offering various leadership development programs, scholarships and connections to industry, AFA has been instrumental in shaping the careers of countless young individuals who are passionate about agriculture.

For many FFA members, involvement in AFA is a logical next step in their agricultural career development. While National FFA membership is at record levels, there are thousands of food, agriculture and natural resource jobs that go unfilled each year. Working together, FFA and AFA are building pathways that lead more young people to finding and pursuing careers in agriculture.

One of the primary objectives of this partnership is to create a seamless pathway for young individuals who are passionate about agriculture to transition from FFA to AFA. By doing so, they will gain access to a wide array of leadership development opportunities, scholarships, internships, mentorship programs and job opportunities. This collaboration ensures that the valuable knowledge and skills acquired through FFA continue to grow and develop during their college years through AFA’s support.

“Addressing the human capital challenge in agriculture is not just about filling roles; it’s about empowering individuals with the passion and skills to drive the industry forward,” says Mark Stewart, AFA president and CEO. “Teaming up with FFA is our way of investing in the people who will be the backbone of agriculture, ensuring that we have a robust, skilled workforce to navigate the challenges ahead.”

Additionally, AFA and FFA aim to collaborate on various projects and initiatives that promote agricultural education and leadership. These initiatives will provide young agricultural enthusiasts with the chance to interact with experienced professionals and gain valuable insights into the industry. The MOU also creates a joint platform for AFA and FFA to leveraging their collective strengths and voices acting as advocates for positive change supporting the future of American agriculture. This collaboration will ensure that the voices of young agricultural leaders are heard and that their needs and concerns are addressed at a national level.

The partnership between AFA and FFA has the potential to reshape the future of American agriculture by cultivating a generation of passionate and well-prepared leaders. As these two organizations join forces, they aim to foster an environment where young people are inspired to pursue careers in agriculture, armed with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in an ever-evolving industry.

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