Canton, NY, Jul 15, 2011 — Even as young adults are learning to farm in college, one of the most iconic organizations for kids growing up in rural, traditionally agricultural communities, Future Farmers of America, has shifted its mission away from farming.
In fact, it's not even called "Future Farmers of America" anymore -- in 1988, it changed its name to "the National FFA Organization." And its mission now is to help teach kids to "meet the challenges of feeding a growing population" through work in "a broad range of career pathways."
Farming's still part of that but a less important part. With farmers growing older and few kids coming up to replace them, the change raises a lot of questions.
Carol Wright is the FFA advisor for Canton Central School. She's from a North Country farm family, and she was an FFA member when she was in school. Her brother's still a farmer, as are a lot of her former high school classmates. She told Nora Flaherty the change in focus reflects a larger social shift.