The two organizations announced the new partnership and the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the development of new initiatives designed to increase awareness of the agricultural industry and feed production sector on Tuesday [October 15].
IFEEDER is a public charity that promotes the animal feed industry and was founded by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA). The group focuses on supporting research into animal feed and pet food along with education and research initiatives.
The National FFA Organization – formerly Future Farmers of America – is a US youth organization that focuses on helping students develop leadership skills and career success by providing agricultural education. The organization has more than 700,000 members and chapters in every state along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Work on the joint project has been ongoing for almost a year, said Rob Cooper, executive director, IFEEDER.
“Our hope is that FFA members will become better acquainted with the role of the animal food industry and the part we play in the food chain,” he told FeedNavigator.
The partnership between the two groups is open-ended.
IFEEDER is set to help develop a cooperative curriculum for educational instructors related to the animal feed industry to support the “next generation of employees.”
“Both organizations will be involved in identifying the needs and opportunities for new programs,” he said.
The programs and educational outreach are set to be provided to all students involved with FFA, said Cooper.
“We see the potential to address a wide range of issues related to food and agriculture while leaving room to address new and emerging topics as we move forward,” he said.
The animal feed sector is “rich with career opportunities,” said Cooper.
"We need to continue to inspire all young people to see the breadth of opportunities that exist in agriculture, from marketing and finance to research and production.”