75 current, former state FFA officers set for South African trip to explore global agriculture, foreign culture

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CONTACT
Duane Brodt
Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization
DBrodt@FFA.org
888-332-2589
 
INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013/National FFA Organization) – Seventy five past and present FFA officers representing 23 states will travel to South Africa in January for a 10-day exploration of global agriculture and foreign culture.
 
The 2014 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers is an annual trip for aspiring FFA leaders, providing opportunities for them to experience foreign culture, learn about international agriculture and experience the global marketplace.
 
Departing Jan. 4, the group will learn about U.S.-South African trade relations through meetings with government and U.S. Embassy officials and tour a host of agricultural destinations, including crocodile, dairy, sheep and beef farms. They will also explore big-game reserve Kruger National Park and visit local produce markets and agricultural schools. The group returns home Jan. 14.
 
“In the past, we’ve brought FFA leaders to China and Argentina but, this year, we chose South Africa,” said Shane Jacques, manager of state officer programs for the National FFA Organization. “The country’s emerging economy, rich history, and diverse culture will lend the students a perspective we’ve never been able to provide to this program. Particularly with the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, these students will have a front seat for cultural immersion.”
 
The trip is made possible by corporate sponsors Bunge North America and John Deere.
 
"Bunge is pleased to be able to offer these FFA leaders a wonderful educational experience that will have a strong influence on their future careers in agriculture," said David Kabbes, senior vice president of corporate and legal affairs at Bunge North America. "As a leading agribusiness company in the region, Senwes, our joint venture partner, will provide students with a better understanding of the growing role South Africa will play in meeting food demand for a growing world population."
 
While in South Africa, FFA members will share their experiences daily on the State Officer “Brighter Insights” Blog (http://brighterinsights.wordpress.com) and on both Twitter and Instagram tagged #ILSSO14.
 
“We are pleased to sponsor FFA’s International Leadership Seminar for State Officers,” said Amy Allen, manager of corporate contributions with John Deere and Co. “Africa will play a large role in feeding the world’s growing population through new agricultural technologies and farming practices, as well as mechanization.”
 
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 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 579,678 student members as part of 7,570 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.
 
About Bunge North America
Bunge North America (www.bungenorthamerica.com), the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), is a vertically integrated food and feed ingredient company, supplying raw and processed agricultural commodities and specialized food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, foodservice and bakery industries. With headquarters in St. Louis, Bunge North America and its subsidiaries operate grain elevators, oilseed processing plants, edible oil refineries and packaging facilities and mills in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
 
About John Deere
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more, visit John Deere at www.JohnDeere.com.