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Agriculture Secretary signs MOU with National FFA Organization
January 23, 2011

Agriculture Secretary Signs MOU with National FFA Organization, National FFA Foundation and National Council for Agricultural Education to Work to Develop Student Leadership Skills and Rural Careers

WASHINGTON, DC -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National FFA Organization that furthers a commitment to educate and prepare America's young people to pursue careers in agriculture, food fiber and natural resources systems. The MOU was signed by the Secretary following a meeting in Washington with representatives of the National FFA Organization, the National FFA Foundation and the National Council for Agricultural Education. All are part of the agreement.

"This MOU is aimed at preparing and motivating the youth of America to undertake the challenges and reap the rewards associated with life in rural areas," said Vilsack. "Working with our partners, we want to provide educational support and promote career opportunities in agriculture. This partnership will help meet the Obama Administration's goal of raising a generation of Americans who are well educated, ready to lead their communities and strengthen the American economy."

Under the MOU, USDA will designate top staff within the Office of the Secretary and mission areas to identify areas where there is a match between the educational delivery needs of USDA and ways to meet those needs through school-based agricultural education. Additionally, a process will be created which allows USDA, agricultural industry and the educational community to work together to optimize the outreach of USDA through agricultural education, and develop linkages between the signatories.

Vilsack noted that USDA continues to work closely with the National FFA Organization through a number of agencies, including the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on school-based agricultural literacy programs and vocational education. Other agencies providing support include the Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency. The MOU more closely links the agricultural educational community and USDA.

Under the MOU the parties will collaborate on an annual work plan identifying cooperative efforts to be undertaken.


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