As the National FFA Organization celebrates a record-setting year this week at the 84th National FFA Convention, an agreement with Farm American and Furniture Row Racing has put agricultural education on the fast track in 2012.
Together, FFA and Farm American announced today that the National FFA Organization will become a communications partner with Farm American for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season. FFA and Farm American will work hand in hand in furthering American agriculture by telling the story of agriculture's important role both today and tomorrow.
The National FFA Organization, on the heels of announcing major increases in nationwide membership in the past year, will support Farm American's effort to grow the role the of American agriculture because of the basic connection it has with the goals of FFA and agriculture education.
"FFA is all about making a positive difference in the lives of our members by expanding their leadership and career horizons," said National FFA Organization COO Bill Fleet. "By working with Farm American to increase the stature of American agriculture, we're hoping to increase their future career possibilities while also assisting American agriculture as a whole."
The Farm American program promotes the importance of U.S. agriculture, which employs directly and indirectly more than 22 million people in the American workforce. The details and schedule of the 2012 Farm-American program are still being worked out and will be announced at a later date.
"Furniture Row Racing is humbled to have earned the support of the National FFA Organization," said Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone. "Farm American is about preserving and protecting – an effort to bring awareness to the importance of keeping America's food supply produced in the United States. FFA members are our future farmers, ranchers and teachers and our future soil, crop and livestock scientists and future political decision makers. There is no greater beneficiary of the Farm American program than FFA members across this country."
Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row Racing team spearheaded the Farm American program in 2010 with a special paint scheme at selected races on its No. 78 Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith. The program continued at select races in 2011 – most recently at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway Oct. 9. Smith finished 7th in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February and won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in May.
"FFA members are the future of agriculture and there’s no better validation of the Farm American program than to have the future of food production join our efforts to connect agriculture messaging to NASCAR fans," said Regan Smith, driver of the No. 78 Farm American Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing. "We want our agriculture jobs and food to remain here in the U.S."
Formerly known as Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization provides agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,489 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.