Challenge Issued to National FFA Convention

Agricultural careers are paramount as the farm community ages.

Florida FFA

The FFA encourages young people to pursue agricultural careers.

Courtesy FFA

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Participants at the 84th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis received a challenge to pursue agricultural careers.

“America’s producers are the most productive and successful in the world – with a willingness to embrace change, new science and innovative technologies to fulfill the noble task of feeding a nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “To continue that success, we need organizations like FFA working creatively to build policies, structures and institutions that will ensure the next generation can continue to feed and fuel the world.”

Vilsack put a spotlight on USDA programs aimed at recruiting and assisting the next generation of farmers. The farm community is aging, Vilsack says, with the average age of 57. Nearly 30 percent of farmers are over the age of 65, and the number of farmers younger than 45 has dropped by 20 percent.