National Agriculture Day in D.C. to draw state FFA officers, agricultural students from throughout U.S. for leadership, advocacy training

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, March 15, 2013/National FFA Organization) – Tuesday is National Agriculture Day and the theme for this year’s event is “Generations Nourishing Generations.”

Thirty state FFA officers – mostly college students – from throughout the country will join agricultural students from 4-H, the Agriculture Future for America and the Student National Agrimarketing association in Washington, D.C., from Sunday through Tuesday to experience leadership and advocacy training, meet congressional leaders and help raise awareness of agriculture and its impact on our nation’s society and economy among Washington policymakers.

Leadership training at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Md., will be led by experts representing the National FFA Organization, National 4-H, Agriculture Council of America, Farm Credit, John Deere, Walmart, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, American Farm Bureau Federation, Land O' Lakes, the U.S. Forest Service and more.

During their time in D.C., FFA members and agricultural students will participate in idea exchange groups, visit congressional leaders at Capitol Hill, undergo media training and take a nighttime tour of the nation's capital.

“National Agriculture Day is a great opportunity for agriculturalists to share their knowledge, dedication and commitment to the future’s safe, affordable and abundant food supply,” said Kent Schescke, director of government and nonprofit relations at the National FFA Organization. “It also creates an opportunity for our state FFA officers to meet with their government representatives and discuss the current and future state of agriculture in their communities.”

Monday, a panel discussion titled “Farm to Folk Politics” at the Hart Senate Office Building will be moderated by Sara Wyant of Agri-Pulse and feature J.B. Penn, chief economist at John Deere; Dr. Keith Collins, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and B. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Information Services division of the National Restaurant Association. The discussion will look at the year ahead for food and agriculture.

Tuesday, FFA members will start their day meeting with their respective congressional representatives at the U.S. Capitol. They will then attend a luncheon emceed by famed agricultural broadcaster Orion Samuelson during which Outstanding Young Farmer honorees will be recognized. In the evening, a “Celebration of Agriculture” dinner hosted by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan will be held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during which winners of the National Agriculture Day essay, video essay and poster contests will be announced.

The National FFA Organization, 4-H and Agriculture Future for America coordinate with the Agricultural Council of America to stage National Agriculture Day each year. The event began in 1973. For more about National Agriculture Day, visit www.agday.org/.

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.