Mark Poeschl is stepping down as CEO of the National FFA Organization after piloting the organization through a number of turbulent events, including the coronavirus pandemic and last year’s dismissal of a member of the organization’s national officer team.

Poeschl submitted his resignation Thursday and informed FFA staff and supporters of the move Friday. He has held the position since August 2016.

"I know I haven't always made everyone happy; I know there have been challenges we have faced during my tenure, but my intentions have been for the best interests of FFA and our student members,” Poeschl said in a statement. “I'm proud of what we have accomplished together, but now it's time for the next CEO of FFA to step in and make their mark, and to lead the next stage for National FFA with your good support and enthusiasm."

FFA Adviser James Woodard said the organization’s board “wishes Mark well, and we acknowledge the impact he has made in the last four and a half years as National FFA leader.

“The boards of directors and trustees will now come together to have meaningful discussions and chart a course to identify the next CEO of National FFA," Woodard added.

Poeschl, a former agribusiness executive who came to FFA from Cargill, was an FFA member himself and once served as a Nebraska FFA state officer. His tenure at the helm of the organization included having to take last year’s national convention online; the convention  typically brings roughly 60,000 members and guests to Indianapolis. Poeschl was also the leader of the organization when President Donald Trump addressed members of the annual gathering in 2017.

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Last June, the organization dismissed Lyle Logemann from its national officer team over social media posts confirmed to be from his accounts. Logemann has since sued the organization.

In a message to the organization’s stakeholders Friday, Poeschl said he told the FFA staff that he would be “rooting hard” for them.

“Your success is the success of over 760,000 members across the country,” he said. “Young people are depending upon you to continue your contributions to their futures. And while I am leaving, I will be watching from a distance, trusting that the work we have done in these recent years has set the stage for great things to come in the months and years ahead.”

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