Hundreds of FFA students from across the state watch Gov. Mike Parson drive a tractor to the Capitol as part of FFA Week activities.

On behalf of more than 25,000 members of Missouri FFA, Governor Mike Parson has proclaimed Feb. 16-23, 2019, to be National FFA Week in Missouri. Governor Parson was joined by more than 80 local Missouri FFA members who welcomed him to the Capitol as he replicated the FFA tradition of driving a tractor to school during National FFA Week. The tractor was fueled by B20 Biodiesel and led from the Governor’s Mansion to the Capitol this morning by the Missouri FFA van sponsored by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council.

“I am so proud to let the members of Missouri FFA know that they have a friend in the Governor’s Office who is working day in and day out to protect their future,” Gov. Parson said. “Whether it’s driving a tractor to work yesterday morning or fighting for more STEM programs, I want to ensure the next generation of agriculture thrives.”

Missouri FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways through their experiences in agricultural education.

“The future of Missouri agriculture lies in the hands of these students,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “It’s important that we invest in them as young leaders now so that they can invent the next agriculture technology, return to the family farm, or help us share the story of Missouri agriculture.”

“Agriculture is a driving force behind Missouri’s economy, and FFA is preparing students to succeed as farmers, biologists, veterinarians, business leaders, and more,” Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Margie Vandeven said. “We are proud of our FFA members’ contributions to their communities, their schools, and our state.”

Immediately following the proclamation ceremony on Feb. 19, FFA members heard from eight panelists about Missouri agriculture’s workforce and the skills they will need to develop before being career-ready. FCS Financial and the Agriculture Leadership of Tomorrow program provided panelists for the discussion.

Panelists for the agriculture workforce development discussion were the following:

· Eric Bohl – Missouri Farm Bureau

· Lorryn Bolte – Novus International

· Kalena Bruce – Integrity Squared CPA

· Daniel Carpenter – Carpenter Cattle Company

· Trey Graves – Graves Farms

· Alex Haun – Haun Farms

· Jeff Houts – FCS Financial

· Michele Meyer – FMC

To learn more about the Missouri FFA Association, visit MissouriFFA.org.