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Youth News

National FFA Advisor Steve Brown Says FFA Continues to Grow

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:13:58 CDT

National FFA Advisor Steve Brown Says FFA Continues to Grow
The head of the National FFA Organization is excited about the future of the organization and agriculture. At the 2014 FFA Convention, National FFA Advisor Steve Brown
expressed his excitement for the growth of the organization with membership setting a new record of 610 thousand and this year's convention has the potential to break another record for attendance. Brown said there will be close to 60 thousand FFA members this week in Louisville.

Beyond the growing number of chapters and members, Brown also hopes people will see the opportunities that careers in agriculture provide. This represents the transition the organization has seen from being called the Future Farmers of America and changing the name of the organization to simply FFA.

"Agriculture as we know is a broad field," Brown said. "When we chose to modify that name we wanted to make sure we didn't exclude anyone that might have interest in the broad field of agriculture including forestry and our environment, natural resources, conservation and biotechnology, so it's a great field and a lot of opportunities for our members."

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Brown at the National FFA Convention. You can hear that conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

FFA prides itself on the skills members learn from team work, to problem solving, contextual inquiry based instruction, leadership, personal development and communication skills. Brown said those skills are transferable to whatever career an individual chooses and it helps individuals be successful. Today there are five million FFA Alumni in the nation's work force.

One of the challenges facing agricultural education is fitting into the overall direction of education in the US. As the advisor for the National FFA Organization, Brown is a US Department of Education employee, appointed by the US Department of Education Secretary. As chairman of the board of directors, Brown's role is to provide the strategic direction, guidance and planning for the organization. In fighting Common Core, Brown said they will be asking agricultural businesses for their support.   

"They assist us in identifying those skills students need to have to be those employers, to be those entrepreneurs of the future," Brown said.

Also with the push for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, Brown said FFA is a logical partner in that STEM is present throughout agriculture and agricultural education. He thinks the Department of Education is beginning to understand the role FFA can have.

"We just got to do a better job of showing people and identifying where those connections are," Brown said.

Coverage of the 2014 National FFA Convention and Expo can be seen and heard on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, OklahomaFarmReport.Com, our Daily Farm and Ranch News Email, Twitter via our Ron_on_RON feed, Facebook , FLICKR and on our Oklahoma Farm Report App- available for Apple and Andrioid Devices.

Our exclusive coverage from Louisville is a service of the Oklahoma FFA Association, the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association and your Oklahoma Ford Dealers. For more information about this youth organization, click here. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.


Ron Hays interview with Steve Brown at National FFA Convention in Louisville
right-click to download mp3


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