Cargill and the National FFA Organization share the belief that agriculture can solve some of the world's toughest sustainability challenges. Cargill is investing $2.1 million over three years to help the FFA organization develop future leaders who are prepared to continue advancing sustainable agriculture. The funds will enable the FFA Organization's efforts to bridge the needs of the agriculture, food and natural resources industries.
"We need the best and brightest young minds to help create solutions that balance feeding a growing population with protecting our planet," said Ruth Kimmelshue, business operations & supply chain lead and Chief Sustainability Officer for Cargill, and former member of the National FFA Organization Board of Directors. "Through agriculture, young people have the opportunity to develop and use new technology and implement solutions to regenerate soils, build the economic success of farming communities, innovate supply chains, address the global issues facing our industry—such as climate change, deforestation and water conservation—and so much more."
The National FFA Organization's sustainability leader development program will receive $300,000 of the investment, supporting the organization's efforts to re-evaluate programs and events to include educational resources, experiential learning and leadership development opportunities for future sustainability-driven influencers. The multi-year commitment also elevates support of:
- The state officer leadership continuum—impacting FFA members by developing leadership skills and personal growth for 375 state officers
- Living to serve platform—supporting 57,000 hours of service to make a difference in local communities across the country through chapter service projects
- The agriscience fair—developing students interested in and excelling in science and research, with more than 415 projects approved for competition at the national level. 89% of students report having a better understanding of science's role in agriculture after competing in the fair
- Recruitment and retention of quality agriculture educators
For nearly 60 years, Cargill has partnered with the FFA Organization to create innovative ways to inspire youth in agriculture, investing more than $16 million to foster innovative career education and support career development events, leadership development conferences, agriscience fairs and areas of service. Cargill and FFA have brought together corporate leaders, academics, FFA state officers and students around a shared vision for the future of agriculture.
"Cargill is proud to support the work FFA is doing to cultivate a better future for all, by empowering young people to be leaders in agriculture, food and nutrition," said John Niemann, president, protein ingredients & international channel, Cargill Protein - North America, and current Chair of the National FFA Sponsors Board. "Working together, we can ensure American agriculture continues to build vibrant communities, supports prosperous families and rewarding careers, and produces the food we need to feed a growing population."
"National FFA values Cargill's longtime support through their sponsorship and partnership based on shared values," said Molly Ball, president of the National FFA Foundation. "The nearly 60-year relationship has helped cultivate the talent pipeline for agriculture, and continues to develop future leaders that positively impact the industry and the world."
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to more than 700,000 student members who belong to one of the more than 8,600 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by more than 8 million alumni and supporters throughout the U.S.