Traditionally, the week of George Washington’s birthday is observed nationwide as FFA Week. Nearly 670,000 members will participate in National FFA Week activities at local, state and national levels. Turning to pages B6 and B7 in the Feb. 19, 2019 issue of the Sun Prairie Star and checking sunprairiestar.com will show how your Sun Prairie FFA Chapter has been active during the past year.
On Feb. 19 (today), the National FFA Foundation celebrates Give FFA Day to encourage everyone to support the needs of agricultural education students. Here, according to the National FFA Foundation, are seven ways your support will have an impact:
• 25 percent of the agriculture workforce is over 55 years of age.
Nearly one-quarter of the agriculture workforce is expected to retire in the next five years, yet very few job seekers are entering the field. Donations to the National FFA Foundation support the education of students starting as early as 12 years old to learn about opportunities available in the agricultural industry.
• 81 percent of agricultural jobs require more than a high school degree. Agricultural education covers topics from agronomy to veterinary medicine. With four out of five careers in ag requiring some postsecondary education, supporters of the National FFA Organization can contribute to scholarship opportunities and collegiate FFA programs in every state and territory for students pursuing careers in agriculture.
• Less than three percent of college students pursue a career in agriculture. This fall, 19 million students were projected to enroll in U.S. colleges and universities. However, fewer than 500,000 of those students are expected to pursue a career in agriculture. Help students develop a passion for these careers early by supporting grants for developing robust supervised agricultural experiences.
• 669,989 FFA members learn the importance of agriculture. Of those members, 212,829 students are impacted at the local level through participation in the National Chapter Award program, 25,473 members attend a national leadership conference, and 35,494 students compete in state leadership development events.
• For every $1 in service project grants, the community sees a return on investment of $1,234. In 2017, FFA members volunteered 595,032 hours for a total economic impact of $14,364,072. Online donations can be directed to a specific program or state.
• Proficiency areas and leadership development events prepare FFA members for more than 255 unique ag careers. Did you know the world will need to feed more than 10 billion people over the next 31 harvest seasons? That’s going to take plenty of passionate, talented leaders. Give those future leaders a leg up in their careers by supporting the FFA Leadership Fund.
• Nearly 100 percent of alumni and supporters credit their leadership skills to FFA. More than 400,000 alumni and supporters can share their favorite memories in the blue corduroy jacket. Nearly all of those achieved premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Traditionally, Sun Prairie FFA celebrates with lunchtime activities and having members wear their uniforms during FFA Week.
But you can do more to support FFA nationally by donating through the website ffa.org to ensure future biotech and ag professionals have the leadership skills required to feed the future.