South Bend, Ind. – Ahead of National FFA Week, February 17-24, U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Todd Young (R-IN), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) introduced legislation to update and modernize the charter for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) to reflect agriculture education in the 21st Century.
Donnelly said, “FFA helps thousands of young Hoosiers excel by providing opportunities to develop leadership skills and achieve success. The modern FFA helps students prepare for all types of agricultural-related fields, from future farmers to future biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders. I’m excited to be part of modernizing the National FFA organizational charter to help our students fully prepare for opportunities of the future.”
Young said, “By modernizing the FFA to reflect emerging opportunities in agriculture education, we are ensuring students have access to the hands-on leadership and career-training the FFA provides. I am proud to join with my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will positively impact Indiana’s 11,000 FFA members, and young people interested in agriculture careers across the country.”
Lankford said, “FFA is a cornerstone of communities in all parts of Oklahoma. Their federal charter allows them the opportunity to strategically educate young people and prepare them to be future agri-industry leaders. The modernization of the FFA will ensure that their 21st century mission is aligned with their founding legislation.”
Jones said, “For 90 years FFA has been a leader in preparing students and helping them develop the skills they need for a broad range of careers in agriculture. With 14,000 members in Alabama and more than 600,000 nationwide, I’m pleased to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation that will reshape FFA’s charter to enable it to provide agricultural education for the 21st century.”
Mark Poeschl, Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and Foundation said, “Amending our federal charter provides for National FFA to be self-governing while maintaining a long-held relationship with the United States Department of Education. Perhaps most notably, the amended charter will clearly delineate the integral nature of the three component model of agricultural education, leadership development through FFA, and work-based and experiential learning for students. The proposed revisions to the charter set the stage for FFA operations in the 21st century.”
The National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act updates the FFA charter to allow for student officer vice presidents to reflect the regional diversity of the United States. Additionally, it provides governing flexibility for national officers in order to reduce operational delays caused by vacant seats. The amendments to the charter will also allow the FFA’s purpose to better match the innovative and hands-on approaches that many agriculture educators are implementing across the country.
According to the 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. Collectively, FFA members earn more than $4 billion annually through their hands-on work experience.