Photo L-R: Ag Council Pres. & CA FFA Foundation Board Chair Emily Rooney w/ fellow FFA Foundation board member Debbie Holbrook w/Princess Cruises.

Op-ed by Ag Council President Emily Rooney
I have the honor of serving as chair of the board of directors for the California Future Farmers of America (FFA) Foundation. As chair of a Foundation, my main job — let’s be honest — is to raise money. The good news is I get to raise money for some of the brightest young minds and many are headed for a career in agriculture. The story sells itself.

Today, the California FFA student body is over 103,000 students statewide and growing. FFA is not only growing – it is thriving.

While my job as board chair is to raise awareness, my favorite part of the position is engaging with students – some of whom are students in the shop metal-working, wood-working and specializing in ag mechanics.

Others are putting together marketing projects, science projects, horticulture projects and learning about natural resources. FFA students are doing all of this while taking on leadership development activities, completing schoolwork, and preparing for the real world.

I was not a member of FFA as it was not offered at my high school. One thing is certain, today’s FFA students are much more prepared for careers and the challenges and opportunities that come with life than I ever was. California FFA is truly a gift.

Many FFA students come from agriculture, but most don’t – and this is what keeps me focused. From my perspective, it will take the biggest thinkers to solve agriculture’s greatest challenges and those minds will need to come from all walks of life.

FFA opens the mind of a student to consider agriculture as a potential career choice. FFA is creating critical thinking skills in students, developing students into leaders, and paving the way for a brighter future for agriculture.

None of this happens without donor support. Thank you to our ongoing and very generous sponsors, including The James G. Boswell Foundation, Farm Credit and Ag Council members, Blue Diamond Growers, Pacific Coast Producers, Sunkist, Sun-Maid, Sunsweet, Wawona Frozen Foods and so many others.

By contributing to FFA, your dollar goes far. Out of every dollar donated, 91 cents is directed toward student activities and learning experiences. Given this, every dollar counts and makes a tremendous difference in the lives of many students.

Thank you to all donors for supporting the California FFA Foundation. The FFA Foundation is here to promote and assist California FFA to ensure the success of agricultural education by preparing tomorrow’s agricultural leaders, today. To learn more, click HERE.

It’s Give FFA Day – Please Donate Today
Today is Give FFA Day, and our FFA community of alumni, supporters and friends have an opportunity to make an incredible impact in just 24 hours. We invite you to consider participating in our fundraising efforts by contributing financially and, if possible, by leveraging your network to engage other potential supporters who may share our vision.

Today, your donation will be matched by the California FFA Foundation Board of Directors. For every $1 YOU give, the board will match your donation, up to $5,000. 

Please click HERE to donate today.
Seeds of Impact
The James G. Boswell Foundation has pledged $1 million toward a $2 million fundraising campaign organized by the California FFA Foundation. The effort honors and shows appreciation for longtime FFA and 4-H supporters, John and Gail Kautz.

Your contribution to Seeds of Impact helps grow the legacy of agriculture education. To learn more about the Seeds of Impact campaign, please visit HERE.
FFA Leadership Conference
Experience the impact of FFA at the 96th California FFA State Leadership Conference in Sacramento on March 22, 2024.

For information and how you can get involved, please click HERE.