In the last 50 years, women have played a pivotal role in the National FFA Organization after they were officially allowed membership in 1969.
To commemorate the impact they’ve had — not only on the organization but agriculture in its entirety — the corporate sponsors of the 50 Years of Women in FFA celebration have worked to champion the women who continue to shape agricultural education and industries.
The CHS Foundation, Cargill, Carhartt and Ram Trucks have all supported the celebration.
“At CHS and the CHS Foundation, we are always looking for ways to empower women in agriculture,” said Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. “This partnership was the perfect combination of what we stand for and believe in.
“At Cargill, Stacey Smida, senior manager of grants and community engagement, says the company prides itself on having a strong group of female FFA Alumni. One of the company’s top executives, Ruth Kimmelshue, also a former FFA member, created a video celebrating Cargill’s women employees for the 50-year celebration. The video was a key message point at the 2019 Glimpse of Cargill event, where 300 FFA members from surrounding chapters came to Cargill to learn about careers at the company.
“When women in agriculture have an opportunity to earn an income, the whole community thrives, productivity on the farm increases, household incomes rise, and children are better educated,” Kimmelshue said.
Ram Trucks has helped spotlight women in agriculture through a variety of efforts, such as the “So God Made a Farmer” campaign that remains in the hearts of millions and also gave rise to agriculture as a career option to new audiences.
Ram also recently partnered with rising country artist Tenille Townes to honor the 50 Years of Women in FFA celebration with an all-female produced music video and an original song titled “In My Blood.”
“Ram recognizes the importance of women in agriculture and is proud to support the National FFA Organization and its 50 Years of Women celebration,” said Marissa Hunter, head of marketing, North America. “At Ram, we want to champion the women who are involved in such a vital industry through initiatives and programs that highlight their efforts and perseverance. It is essential to who we are as a brand because of how naturally it aligns with our mission and our values.”
Carhartt, a supporter of FFA since 1997, is also proud to recognize the contributions women have made in agriculture and to encourage women to explore careers in agriculture. To learn more about the celebration, visit FFA.org/50YearsOfWomenInFFA.