January 15, 2019

Senators Reintroduce Bill Boosting Agriculture Education

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced they have reintroduced legislation in the 116th Congress to update and modernize the charter for the Future Farmers of America (FFA), which will better reflect agriculture education in the 21st Century.

The National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act updates the FFA’s 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.

“The National FFA Organization provides valuable education and leadership training to our young people. Updating FFA’s charter to reflect advances in the agriculture industry will help ensure students are equipped with the skills needed for the agriculture jobs of tomorrow, and will help empower them to become leaders in their communities,” said Senator Young.

“For nearly a century, the Future Farmers of America has helped our students 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 am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation that will reshape FFA’s charter to ensure it can continue to provide quality agricultural education for the 21st century,” said Senator Jones.

“FFA helps prepare the next generation of leadership to thrive in our communities and businesses,” said Senator Lankford. “Modernizing and streamlining the FFA’s charter will ensure it has the flexibility it needs to be successful for many years to come. FFA encourages its leadership and members to strategically educate young people and help ensure they develop the necessary skills to take on many vitally important tasks, from feeding the world to pursuing the next big scientific discovery.”

“The National FFA Organization plays a vital role in communities around the country by developing young leaders and advancing agricultural education,” said Senator Coons. “Thousands of students in Delaware are getting valuable, hands-on career experience through their participation in the FFA, and I look forward to working with this bipartisan group of senators to pass legislation that provides needed updates to the FFA’s charter.”   

“These amendments let FFA build to meet the needs of 21st century agriculture,” said Mark Poeschl, Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and Foundation. “They allow National FFA to self-govern while maintaining our long relationship with the U.S. Department of Education, and clearly define the important integral nature of agricultural education, FFA leadership development, and experiential learning for the first time.”

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. Last Congress, the Senate unanimously passed the legislation.