Coalition Letter Supporting Next Generation programs in the Farm Bill

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Subject: Next Generation programs in the Farm Bill
Recipient: Senate and House Agriculture Committee Leadership
Sender: Multi-Industry Coalition
Date Sent: March 21, 2017

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members,

We, the undersigned businesses, organizations, and associations, write to express our extreme support for a bipartisan effort to reauthorize a new, comprehensive Farm Bill for the betterment of agriculturists – and the next generation of agriculturists – across the United States.

During the 2014 Farm Bill proceedings, Representative Frank D. Lucas, then Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said, “Every four or five years, when a Farm Bill is signed, it’s signed for America’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers, but it’s also signed for the next generation of young leaders. This bill affects them just as much as you and me.”

Our nation’s investment in American agriculture, and youth who will pursue that enterprise, is crucial to feeding the world, building a sound economy, maintaining a healthy labor market, and protecting the homeland. Now more than ever, we need sound legislation that considers the future of agriculture as much as it considers our current needs for strong safety nets and nutrition programs. We need policy that allows for the teaching of agricultural literacy and advocacy in our classrooms, encourages students to return to the farm or to pursue agricultural careers and supports them in doing so, and equips youth serving organizations to prepare the next generation of agriculturists regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, or disability.

The next version of the Farm Bill can do that, and more, by:
- Heightening the profile of youth in agriculture.
- Including agricultural education and/or agricultural literacy grants for secondary, school-based agricultural education programs, teachers, and students.
- Establishing an agricultural youth organization coordinator appointment within the Secretary’s office to oversee the implementation of the grants and to actively seek and communicate areas where there is a match between the education delivery needs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the programs developed to meet those needs through the work of the National FFA Organization, Agriculture Future of America, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences, and other agricultural youth organizations.

As the 115th Congress works to advance agricultural priorities, and as your bodies work to reauthorize the Farm Bill, we hope that you will continue to consider the next generation of agriculture – our students.

Sincerely,
AgCareers.com
Agricultural Retailers Association
Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America
Agriculture Future of America
Alabama FFA Association
Alaska FFA Association
American Agri-Women
American Feed Industry Association
American Seed Trade Association
American Society of Agronomy
Arizona FFA Association
Arkansas FFA Association
Arkansas Vocational Agricultural Teacher Association
Bayer Corporation
Colorado FFA Association
Connecticut FFA Association
Crop Science Society of America
CropLife America
Deere & Company
Delaware FFA Association
Domino’s Pizza
DuPont
Farm Credit Council
Farm Journal Foundation
Florida FFA Association
Georgia FFA Association
Georgia Young Farmers Association
Global Cold Chain Alliance
Growth Energy
Hawaii FFA Association
Idaho FFA Association
Illinois FFA Association
Indiana FFA Association
Iowa FFA Association
Kansas Department of Agriculture
Kansas FFA Association
Kentucky FFA Association
Look East PR
Louisiana FFA Association
Maryland FFA Association
Minnesota FFA Association
Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences
Mississippi FFA Association
Missouri FFA Association
Monsanto
Montana FFA Association
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Council of Agricultural Employers
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Farmers Union
National FFA Organization
National Grain and Feed Association
National Young Farmers Coalition
Nebraska FFA Association
Nevada FFA Association
New Hampshire FFA Association
New Jersey FFA Association
New Mexico FFA Association
New York FFA Association
North Carolina FFA Association
North Dakota FFA Association
Ohio FFA Association
Oklahoma FFA Association
Oregon FFA Association
Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators
Pennsylvania FFA Association
Rhode Island FFA Association
Soil Science Society of America
South Carolina FFA Association
STEM Food and Ag Council
Syngenta
Texas FFA Association
The Fertilizer Institute
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
Utah FFA Association
Virgin Islands FFA Association
Virginia FFA Association
Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas
Washington FFA Association
West Virginia FFA Association
Wisconsin FFA Association
Wyoming FFA Association