I’m so glad to be able to visit this week with young people at the National FFA Convention. Many Farm Bureau leaders can trace their growth as individuals, farmers and leaders to their experiences as FFA members. Many FFA students come from Farm Bureau families and go on to blaze their own Farm Bureau leadership trail as adults. In fact, the link between FFA and Farm Bureau is so strong that we made it official this year and signed a memorandum of understanding to work more closely together to empower young people in agriculture.
Also this year, I had the honor of joining a group of farmers and ag group representatives in a meeting with President Trump. Valerie Earley, FFA Central Region vice president, was one of the most impressive participants. Valerie, in her blue FFA jacket, sat right next to the president and made us all so proud to have her as a spokesperson for agriculture that day. That is the power and potential that comes from building skills and confidence through FFA and Farm Bureau.
Speaking with young people is one of the most rewarding things I get to do in my job as AFBF president. I always pray that I will be led to say something that inspires them to have faith in the future and to know there are many opportunities to succeed if they work hard. And I assure them that Farm Bureau will continue working for a strong agriculture, which will benefit them whether they choose to be farmers, policy makers, teachers, researchers, business executives or parents who simply want a secure nation and food supply for themselves and their children.
Through FFA and Farm Bureau, WE WILL grow the next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders!
Zippy Duvall, President
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. You can follow him on Twitter @ZippyDuvall.