71 state FFA officers experience Argentina, agricultural operations during 9-day trip

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CONTACT
Duane Brodt
Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization
DBrodt@FFA.org
888-332-2589

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013/National FFA Organization) - State FFA officers from throughout the United States experienced a vast and diverse view of South American agricultural operations and culture during a 9-day excursion to Argentina in January.

Seventy-one state FFA officers attended the 2013 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers (ILSSO).

Argentina is a leading supplier of agricultural products to the world. In terms of soybean production alone, the country is ranked third in world soybean exports behind the United States and Brazil. Due to its highly developed soybean crushing industry, Argentina leads world markets in the export of soybean meal and oil.

Conference sponsor Bunge has had a presence in the country since 1884 and today is one of the country's top agribusinesses. The group toured Bunge's Terminal 6 in Puerto San Martin with Bunge representatives; the terminal is one of the top soy processing and export facilities in South America. The group also took a cruise down the Parana River to experience private ports and soybean crushing operations.

From Jan. 4-12, the FFA contingent visited corn, soybean and beef production farms in Melincue, Rosario, and Buenos Aires, and had the opportunity to meet Melinda Sallyards, an agricultural counselor with the Foreign Agricultural Service and tour Bosch Palace, the ambassador's residence and a major Buenos Aires landmark.

The group toured the Argentine countryside in Puerto Iguazu and experienced landmarks like the National Park and Devil's Throat, the largest water fall in the area.

“Bunge is proud to support this trip so that the state FFA officers could get a better understanding of another important agricultural region and the role all of us have in making sure the world's food supply can meet the growing global demand,” said David Kabbes, senior vice president of corporate and legal affairs with Bunge North America.

Last year, an ILSSO contingent traveled to China.

The International Leadership Seminar for State Officers is an annual, international travel experience for current and past state FFA officers that rotates to a different country each year. The seminar empowers attending FFA leaders by giving them a global experience during which they gain first-hand knowledge of a country's agricultural operations by visiting farms, government, business, industry and culture.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 557,318 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.