TRENTON, N.J. – The General Assembly today passed a resolution (AR59) sponsored by Assembly Republicans Ron Dancer, Parker Space and Gail Phoebus that recognizes and supports the New Jersey Future Farmers of America Association (FFA) and its statewide role in agricultural education.
“Agriculture is a vital economic and environmental resource as the third largest industry in our state,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “While growth and development continues to consume open space and farmland, the influence of the Future Farmers of America has become even more critical. This organization is instrumental in helping prepare young people for careers in agriculture.”
“The formula is simple: No farmers, no food,” said Space (R-Sussex). “For nearly 90 years, the FFA has worked to cultivate the next generation of farmers. Agricultural education graduates the Garden State’s future providers of fresh, local and nutritious food.”
In 2012, the state’s 9,071 farms generated $1.14 billion in sales. With 715,057 acres of farmland, the Garden State produces more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables sold globally.
“The FFA’s agricultural education emphasizes leadership development and personal traits to help young farmers compete and thrive in a farming landscape that is becoming dominated by technology and innovations,” said Phoebus (R-Sussex). “These educational initiatives ensure that we will have talented and qualified farmers to feed our state and beyond for decades to come.”
The resolution also recognizes that 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the FFA electing the first African-American to a national FFA office and the 45th anniversary of the FFA opening membership to high school girls.
Founded in 1928, FFA is a national educational organization comprising 7,665 chapters with 610,000 members. New Jersey has 37 chapters with more than 2,600 members engaging in personal, career and leadership development activities that challenge members to excel as they develop agricultural skills. The national FFA’s first president was Leslie Applegate, a New Jersey resident.