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 »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack center with FFA award winners at the 84th Annual National Convention of the FFA on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2011, in Indianapolis, IN. Photo courtesy FFA.
Last week, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) representatives collaborated with bright, young agricultural leaders at the National FFA Convention. The event truly showcased talented youth from all over the country. Read more »
A group of Iraqi women work with vegetables during a Food Preservation Project course offered in Baghdad. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) agricultural advisor Thaddeus White and the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) he was assigned to worked with local non-governmental organizations to offer the course to widows and women in need. Photo credit: Thad White.
For the past year, Thaddeus White provided education and training to the Iraqi people as an advisor for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Baghdad. Read more »
The Ohio State Fair is a unique and exciting showcase of Ohio’s agriculture, livestock and natural resources.
At the fair, I had the opportunity to visit with members of the Ohio FFA. These young people were impressive and demonstrated a true commitment to agriculture and Rural America. It is these future leaders who will be challenged to maintain a traditional way of life in Rural America, and to continue to feed and clothe this country and the world. Read more »
Jason Frerichs, Farmer/Rancher/Educator, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Wilmot, SD
Cross posted from the White House Rural Champions of Change website:
Jason is a fourth generation farmer/rancher, educator, and lawmaker from Wilmot, SD. Jason manages a 150 head beef cow/calf operation as well as raises corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. Frerichs is an agriculture instructor at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, SD where he is also the Watertown Area FFA Advisor. Representative Frerichs has been a key player in the development of renewable energy and education issues in the State Legislature. Frerichs is actively involved in the Farmers Union, the South Dakota Education Association, SD Stockgrowers, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association.
As Associate Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), one of my duties is to lead all-employee meetings with the Agency’s field offices across the country. During my travel, I often visit local projects and success stories in agriculture that have connections with USDA projects. Recently, I visited one of RMA’s outreach partners in Raleigh, North Carolina— the Longview School and Inter-faith Food Shuttle.
RMA is funding this unique urban agriculture project through a current partnership agreement with the North Carolina Farm Transition Network. The project, in coordination with Patrick Faulkner, Longview FFA Chapter, and Sun Butler of Inter-faith Food Shuttle, provides hands-on training for students and the community on managing risks associated with gardening and horticulture, improving health, building collaborations, reducing hunger, and potentially, enhancing career skills related to the local food system and the food value chain. As a part of this project, Mr. Faulkner has taken students to on two field trips for educational purposes: A national workshop on growing food at Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wis., with Will Allen, and a trip to Washington, D.C., for the National FFA Leadership Conference. Read more »