Indianapolis, Ind. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly delivered remarks at the National FFA Convention Appreciation Dinner this evening in Indianapolis. Donnelly welcomed the FFA Convention back to Indianapolis, discussed his work on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and highlighted his bipartisan efforts to support the education and research that will be essential to the success of the next generation of agriculture in Indiana and across the country.
Donnelly said, “I was honored to speak at the National FFA Convention. It’s always great to talk with FFA members past and present, who do so much for our ag and rural communities. Agriculture is part of the foundation of Indiana’s economy, and it is crucial that we ensure future generations have the skills and training they need to succeed.”
Earlier, this year, Senators Donnelly, Todd Young (R-IN), and others introduced the bipartisan National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act, which would update and modernize the FFA charter to reflect agriculture education in the 21st Century. Donnelly has long supported the FFA, as well as vocational and career training and education, including agriculture-focused training. Donnelly helped Ivy Tech secure federal funding through the Department of Commerce to build its new Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology Center of Excellence Laboratory in Terre Haute, which will help provide aspiring farmers with hands-on education and training opportunities.
As part of his work on the Senate-passed 2018 Farm Bill, Donnelly successfully secured several provisions that would support Hoosier farmers, families, and rural communities; improve risk management, conservation, and export promotion programs; and help address the opioid epidemic and food insecurity. The bill includes a Donnelly provision that would reauthorize and reorganize the New Era Rural Technology Program to help community colleges fund efforts to develop a workforce trained in precision agriculture management. These provisions were developed with input from Hoosier farmers after hearing from nearly every segment of Indiana’s agricultural community.
According to FFA, members participate and learn advanced career skills in 47 national proficiency areas based on their hands-on work experiences ranging from agricultural communications and food science and technology to turf grass management and wildlife production and management.