I had the great opportunity yesterday to spend the day with nearly 50 outstanding young farmers from all across the country participating in FFA's New Century Farmer Program. These young leaders are spending an entire week together learning about the challenges they will face in the coming decades and how to remain successful. The program introduces participants to the latest developments in agricultural technology, helps them to form relationships with top industry professionals, encourages them to engage in agricultural policy and helps them create a vision for their future goals and farm operations.
I led a session on food and agricultural policy that was followed by intensive group discussion on this group's thoughts on the upcoming Farm Bill. We began with an overview of what food and agricultural policy is and government's role in formulating it. The group was very interested in how federal farm policy is formulated, who are the players involved and what considerations go into crafting each Farm Bill (i.e., the state of the farm economy, the structure of agriculture, the size of the federal budget deficit, etc.).
This discussion was part of a larger process FFA is undertaking this year to provide input on the coming Farm Bill to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Secretary Vilsack challenged the FFA student leadership last Fall to engage in the Farm Bill deliberations and share their unique perspectives as the future leaders of U.S. agriculture.
Ice Miller is a proud to represent the interests of the National FFA and be a sponsor of their student leadership programs. We look forward to engaging with these talented young people through what will surely be long and successful careers.