Armstrong to retire as FFA CEO

By Spencer Chase

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2015 - National FFA Chief Executive Officer W. Dwight Armstrong has announced he'll step down from the post at the end of June after seven years with the organization.

Armstrong told the National FFA Board of Directors and the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees of his plans earlier this month, saying the time is right for the organization to transition to new leadership. He's also retiring as CEO of the National FFA Foundation. FFA was formerly the Future Farmers of America.

In a statement, National FFA Advisor Steve Brown said Armstrong has provided “outstanding executive leadership at a critical time in our development.”

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“Dwight has been a steady, driving force in helping formulate our strategic direction and achieving program goals for FFA,” Brown said, adding that Armstrong “exemplifies the best of FFA.”

Armstrong said his professional career has been very fulfilling. “Nothing compares to the satisfaction of seeing young people discover their talents and achieve success. FFA is exactly what we need to develop leaders, build healthy communities and strengthen American agriculture.”

During Armstrong's tenure, the organization has amassed a record membership of almost 630,00 students in grades 7-12 throughout the U.S. Attendance at the organization's annual convention has also skyrocketed, with more than 65,000 students participating this year, making it the largest annual student gathering in the country.

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Armstrong earned a doctorate in animal science from Purdue University in 1975 and served as a member of the animal science faculty at North Carolina State University until 1982. He then began a career in swine nutrition and eventually led a record-setting fundraising campaign as chair of the National FFA Foundation Sponsors' Board before joining the organization full-time.

Armstrong anticipates working closely with National FFA Organization and Foundation staff in the search for his replacement and the transition strategy for the new CEO. As for his future plans, Armstrong says he wants to spend more quality time with family and friends, and with volunteer opportunities and personal pursuits.

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