MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – As the average age of the American farmer approaches 60, National Farmers Union (NFU) and the National FFA Organization are working together to cultivate the next generation of American agricultural professionals.

At a ceremony in Minneapolis, Minn., NFU President Roger Johnson and National FFA Organization CEO Mark Poeschl formalized their joint commitment to agricultural education and cemented the two organizations’ longstanding partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU summarizes the ways in which NFU and FFA will continue to encourage youth engagement and leadership, share resources, and elevate each other’s roles within farming communities.

“Many generations of young Farmers Union members have grown up in their local FFA chapters,” said Johnson. “This MOU is a logical next step in what has long been a mutually beneficial friendship between our two organizations.”

NFU and FFA both have long histories of supporting youth in agriculture, though the two address the issue in different ways. FFA, which is primarily an intracurricular student organization, helps prepare thousands of young people for more than 240 careers in agriculture, including farming, education, science, and business. Although Farmers Union, a grassroots organization representing family farmers and ranchers, offers youth scholarship and leadership programs as well, the organization also advocates local, state, and federal policies that strengthen rural and agricultural education and help more young Americans successfully enter the field of agriculture.

“It’s clear that NFU and FFA have similar goals and values when it comes to youth education,” said Poeschl. “We are excited to be working hand in hand with NFU as we both continue to foster youth engagement and leadership in agriculture.”

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