Senators support FFA charter changes

Indiana’s two U.S. senators are among a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers who introduced legislation recently that is intended to modernize and update the charter of the National FFA Organization so it reflects current agriculture education.

U.S. Sens. Todd Young, a Republican, and Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, were among four federal lawmakers who introduced the legislation ahead of National FFA Week, which was Feb. 17 through Saturday.

Federal approval is required to change the charter of the organization, historically known as Future Farmers of America.

Young said the intention is to amend the charter to be more specific for modern needs, such as skills required for evolving and emerging career fields, and to allow a more regional leadership structure.

For example, the official national FFA headquarters is in Washington, D.C., but the “real-world” headquarters is Indianapolis because that’s where the national convention is conducted. A regional leadership approach would benefit Indiana, which has 11,000 FFA members, Young said.

“By modernizing the FFA to reflect emerging opportunities in agriculture education, we are ensuring students have access to the hands-on leadership and career-training the FFA provides,” Young said.

“The modern FFA helps students prepare for all types of agricultural-related fields, from future farmers to future biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, entrepreneurs and civic leaders,” Donnelly said.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.