President Obama and I know that today’s young people are critical to winning America’s future. From passing on the long-held traditions and values of American agriculture, to helping Americans live healthier lives by supporting the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative, 4-H and FFA members are truly making a difference.
This September, the White House will welcome 4-H and FFA members from around the country to Washington for a day of discussion on their work, and the future of American agriculture.
In addition, the White House will honor 12 Champions of Change- 4-H and FFA members who are helping America win the future with unique projects that move their communities forward. Read more »
Earlier this month, Secretary Tom Vilsack received a warm welcome from the record breaking crowd of more than 6,000 farmers, ranchers and farm industry leaders at the General Session of the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville. The night before, an audience of more than 250 farmers, conservationists, renewable energy experts, farm-industry leaders and students packed the Secretary’s Town Hall Meeting, “Blueprint for a Rural America Built to Last,” broadcast live on Rural TV with questions coming in from callers in 18 states and a nationwide audience.
Both events included spirited discussion on the future of commodity prices, crop insurance and other details for the next Farm Bill being considered by Congress this year. However, the biggest applause and cheers came at both events when the Secretary answered questions on farm-based renewable energy. Read more »
Gooding Community Garden sign.
Eric Moore had a vision to grow a garden outside his office window. Moore, an employee of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho, works at the USDA Service Center in Gooding. Read more »
Rural Development each year helps fund the FFA Agri-Entrepreneurship Award as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, Inc. The award honors FFA members who recognize market opportunities and develop solid business plans. The award program recognizes young people who start or are planning to start their own businesses.
Cross posted from the National FFA Organization blog: Read more »
Mallory McDevitt of Wapakoneta, Ohio in her one-acre organic garden.
Mallory McDevitt of Wapakoneta, Ohio, is a real go-getter. This 18-year-old high school senior has been an Earth Team Volunteer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since she was 14. She also serves as the Wapakoneta FFA Chapter Vice President. Read more »
National FFA President Riley Pagett (left) and National FFA Vice President Shannon Norris (right) present Secretary Vilsack with the Honorary American FFA Degree. This is the highest honor that the National FFA can bestow to supporters of Agricultural Education and FFA. Photo courtesy FFA.
On Oct. 22, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the 84th National FFA Convention about the critical need to recruit and support the nation’s next generation of farmers and ranchers. In June, I had a chance to sit down with Landan Schaffert, National FFA Secretary, to talk about what the future holds for him in farming. Read more »