National FFA Convention Underway- Ron Hays Interviews National President- Brian Walsh of VirginiaWed, 29 Oct 2014 07:57:45 CDT
The 2014 National FFA Convention is underway in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the culmination of planning and preparation for the National FFA Officers. Throughout the year the six members of the national team visited all 50 states. National FFA President Brian Walsh said he personally visited 32 states from visiting FFA members in Alaska raising reindeer to seeing FFA members in Florida growing citrus.
"To see the drastic difference of backgrounds and people that come from this organization, but the fact that we can all find a home here is pretty special," Walsh said.
FFA is bringing a wide variety of people together. Walsh said that is an important aspect in growing food for a ever increasing world population. Last January the National FFA officer team meet with Tyson Foods. Walsh said he assumed an agricultural company like Tyson would only be hiring for typical ag jobs, but found that wasn't the case at all. Tyson is hiring technologists, business people, economists, among others. Walsh said to be able to feed an additional two billion people in the next 30 years we need all of those people to rally behind agriculture.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Walsh at the National FFA Convention. You can hear that conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
The National FFA Organization continues to grow. FFA has set a new membership record this year with 610, 240 members. That's an increase of over 30 - thousand members over the last year. Walsh looks for the number of members and chapters to increase as more schools develop a bigger appreciation for what agriculture and what FFA does for youth across the country.
"I think we are going to a see a drastic increase in urban programs," Walsh said. "I think FFA and agricultural education is needed and wanted in urban programs, areas that typically aren't associated with agriculture.....we need scientists, we need technologists and I think we are going to see a lot of those programs open up."
In looking back at Walsh's career in FFA he did not come from an agricultural background. His dad was from New York City and his mom was from Washington DC. He never thought he would be in an agricultural organization, but joined the Central FFA Chapter in 9th grade in Woodstock, Virginia. With the support of his parents and teachers he has poured his energy into the blue jacket.
"It's special, this organization has given me a home and I think for so long I was trying to figure out what it was I passionate about, what it was that really fueled me," Walsh said. "And it's this jacket, its this organization, its this industry and to be able to find that and have the support and wisdom of the incredible people that are involved in this organization is very very special."
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.
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