By FFA Staff with contributions by Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: More than a half-million students in all 50 states will share the importance of agriculture in our daily lives, spread their passion for agriculture and host communitywide events to help others in need this week.

It’s National FFA Week and a host of activities are planned to raise awareness about the National FFA Organization and the role it plays in the development of the agriculture industry’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.

In Arizona, you can observe young people celebrating FFA Week in a variety of ways, including posting their personal stories about their engagement with FFA via social media and in particular, Facebook. 2013-2014 Arizona FFA Officer Justen Ollendick said on Facebook, “A year spent giving back to an organization that gave so much to me, is one that I could never forget! Here's to kicking of ?#?FFAweek2015 with a ?#?StateOfficerSunday

Ollendick also plans to share more stories about his experiences as a state FFA Officer. Ollendick is also currently working as Arizona Farm Bureau's intern covering ag education and communication. As a result, he's talking about, writing and teaching agriculture all the time.

Justen Ollendick, 2013-2014 Arizona FFA Officer.

The week-long tradition started in 1948. Each year, National FFA Week runs Saturday to Saturday, encompassing President George Washington’s Feb. 22 birthday in recognition of Washington’s legacy as an agriculturist and farmer.

FFA was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928. Its mission is to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. Since the founding members the organization has taught generations that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting — it involves science, business and much more.

Today, FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet new agricultural challenges by helping members develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways. Members prepare for careers as biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers and entrepreneurs.

National FFA Week is sponsored by Tractor Supply Co., National FFA Week activities can be followed on Twitter at #FFAweek.

According to responses on Facebook and Twitter, local FFA chapters plan to host parties in appreciation of their agriculture teachers and FFA advisors. Members will host local farmers' markets, visit elementary and middle schools to talk about FFA and agricultural education, complete community-service projects, participate in spirit days at their schools to promote agricultural education and much more. A round-up of some planned National FFA Week activities include:

  •         Through Sunday, participating Tractor Supply Co. stores encourage customers to donate $1 at checkout to support FFA. Donations will fund $1,000 scholarships for FFA members while 10 percent will support state FFA association programs. Last year, Tractor Supply raised more than $447,671 in 48 states to provide 334 college scholarships for FFA members.
  •         St. Amant FFA in Louisiana will be working to collect enough food to feed 1,000 people through a help a farmer feed a family event, which will tie into their local livestock show.
  •         The National FFA Officers will travel around the country to visit local FFA chapters. States that will be visited include: Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Oregon.
  •         The New Richmond FFA chapter in Wisconsin is hosting an FFA Week Kickoff Snowtubing Event in their area with all interested chapters invited to participate. It's an annual tradition and members from up to 12 different schools traditionally attend, sharing ideas of what is happening at their schools during FFA Week.
  •         The Dassel-Cokato FFA Chapter in Minnesota will co-host their annual dinner on Feb. 25, along with the local FFA alumni affiliate. This is an opportunity for FFA chapter members and alumni members say thank you to people who have and continue to support their chapters. It is also a chance to share with the community the great things the members are doing.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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About National FFA Organization: The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 610,240 student members as part of 7,665 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.