One of the first official duties of the 2018 National FFA Officer Team is their trip to Washington, D.C. In addition to learning first-hand about the development of ag and rural policy, the six-person officer team has a unique opportunity to educate key influencers including the Administration and Congress on the needs of young people entering the work place in rural America.
“Agri-Pulse is very pleased to sponsor this important educational experience for the new FFA Officer Team,” says Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “There is no better way to understand how our government works than to have face to face conversations with Administrators, Congressman, and the wide cross section of organizations who work on these important ag and rural issues every day. And, it is important for those who make their living inside the Beltway to hear directly from the best and the brightest young people in agriculture”
Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA Organization, said the trip is important to prepare national officers on how to be strong agricultural advocates.
“The National FFA Officer DC Experience gives our team the opportunity to strengthen their voice as well as connect and meet with influencers in the food, fiber and natural resources industry. We are thankful that our friends at Agri-Pulse understand the need for our members to tell their story and appreciate their sponsorship of this week.”
The team will be meeting with a number of leading industry organizations including CropLife America, CoBank, Glover Park Group, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, and the Farm Credit Council. They will also be meeting with senior officials at USDE, USDA, the College Board, FCCLA, as well as Ray Starling, Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture and Agriculture Trade at the White House, a former National FFA Officer.
Friday will be spent on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress and their staffs with two special presentations of the Honorary American Farmer Degree to Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson.
“This week, national FFA officers wearing their blue jackets, will represent the next generation of agriculture on the Hill, at the White House, and with a wide array of thought-leaders in our field,” stated Riley Pagett, Director of Advocacy and Government Relations for National FFA. “The officers’ exposure to our nation’s capital will better serve them as they carry the message of agriculture to students, teachers, and other stakeholders year-round. If FFA members can learn to share the story of agriculture well in an environment like DC, I believe they can share that message well nearly anywhere.”