With over 55,000 FFA members nationwide, it’s an amazing opportunity for Organic Valley to plant “organic seeds” and watch them grow. We recognized the need to educate and foster the next generation of agricultural leaders so we established a foundation of support for FFA members. I would like to highlight just a few ways in which Organic Valley is planting the seeds of organic education.

This past summer, Wisconsin FFA Foundation announced it would be granting the first ever Organic Proficiency Award. It includes programs in which a student uses best management practices in producing food and/or agricultural products following industry guidelines for organic agriculture, Organic Valley plans to apply for an Organic Proficiency Award at the national level, which will provide even more opportunities for organic education to FFA members across the United States.

At the Wisconsin State FFA Convention in June, Organic Valley presented an educational workshop entitled “Organic Traditions and Vision”. The classroom was full of interactive, engaged FFA members willing to learn more about organic farming, We also provided the state FFA members with a career booth where students learned more about organic farming and Organic Valley.

In October, several Organic Valley employees attended the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky. Our booth was packed with FFA members from all over the nation. We challenged them to a Wheel of Farming game, where FFA members could learn about organic agriculture and win a prize. We also hosted three well-attended organic workshops throughout the week. The popularity of our booth and attendance at our workshops helped me realize that the seeds have been planted and it’s our job to foster and nurture these young seedlings by providing the tools needed to become our next generation of organic farmers.

Being an FFA alumna myself, it is a pleasure to be able to give back. It’s been a marvelous experience for me to be a judge at the district, state and national levels, judging the FFA creed and vegetable production. These bright, young members never cease to amaze me with their talent and energy! The FFA makes such a positive difference in the lives of these students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Organic Valley will continue our mission to plant the “organic seeds” in the next generation of agricultural leaders and provide educational information for advisors and FFA members, Please check out our blog at http://rootstock.coop/ffa. If you have any suggestions or questions regarding the FFA, please contact the Farmer Hotline at 888-809-9297.