HARRISBURG – Citing the need to engage and train the next generation of agricultural leaders, Gov. Edward G. Rendell has proclaimed Feb. 20-27 as “FFA Week” and Feb. 25 as “Teach Agriculture Day” in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania’s $5.8 billion agriculture industry is vital to our state’s economy and local communities,” Rendell said. “It is imperative that we have a pipeline of talent ready to enter the agriculture workforce.
“The Pennsylvania FFA Association and the state’s dedicated agricultural educators equip students with the leadership skills, subject knowledge and real world experience needed to succeed and keep Pennsylvania growing.”
The National FFA Association, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, boasts more than 500,000 members in all 50 states, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Pennsylvania is home to nearly 8,000 members in 148 chapters.
The organization provides students with leadership development opportunities through classroom instruction, career development contests – including public speaking and business management – and real world agricultural career placement.
In proclaiming FFA Week, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said Rendell is encouraging all Pennsylvanians to recognize the vital role the youth organization plays in developing past, present and future agricultural leaders.
“As a former FFA member, I know first-hand the hard work our FFA members put into developing their leadership and career potential; it is impressive and much appreciated,” said Redding. “FFA members are the future of our agriculture industry, and we must continue to support them as they grow in their skills and knowledge.”
Activities are scheduled throughout the week to commemorate the organization’s achievements and raise awareness about its mission, including:
• Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 8:30 a.m. – FFA state officers will deliver members’ food donations to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg;
• Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. – FFA Night at various Hoss’s Steak & Sea House locations;
• Thursday, Feb. 25, 7:50 a.m. – Redding will teach an agriculture course and interact with students at Gettysburg High School, Adams County; and
• Friday, Feb. 26 – state agriculture officials will teach agriculture courses at Red Lion High School in York County at 8 a.m., and Big Spring High School in Cumberland County, at 9 a.m.
For more information about FFA Week events or about the Pennsylvania FFA Association, visit here or contact Mike Brammer, executive manager, at 717-705-9551.
For more information about the state’s agricultural education initiatives, visit here.