Army Education News

“I Can. We Will.”: U.S. Army and FFA Highlight Education and Career Opportunities

Nov 14, 2017

With a crowd of more than 67,000 FFA members, educators and guests, the 90th National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention & Expo provided a great opportunity for U.S. Army Soldiers to connect with young people from across the country. As a dedicated partner of the FFA, the U.S. Army is one of the largest exhibitors at the annual conference, which was held October 25-27, 2017 in Indianapolis, Ind. The conference reaches thousands of attendees through its educational workshops and interactive exhibits that highlight the benefits and value of serving in the Army, such as the unmatched education, career and leadership opportunities.

The theme of this year’s convention, “I Can. We Will.” resonated with FFA members -- a driven group that focuses on making an impact in their industry and aren’t afraid of a challenge. It was also a familiar theme to U.S. Army Soldiers, who live by the Warrior Ethos and know that it takes a team to accomplish a mission. It was this common ground that helped make this year’s National FFA Convention a great success. 

Captain Jessica Bowden and Staff Sergeant Megan Bates (and service dog, Latte) spoke to students about how their Army careers in veterinary medicine help them to gain an edge in their fields.

Throughout the three-day expo, students and Soldiers discussed career and education opportunities available in the Army, including food science and veterinary medicine careers. Soldiers led workshops for nearly 400 student and educator attendees. Three workshops were held with a focus on veterinary medicine and food science careers, featuring real Soldiers sharing their experiences and explaining how their jobs help to build the greatest force on Earth – from being a trusted source for military families, caring for military working dogs who keep Soldiers safe or ensuring military communities have access to secure food supplies. In addition to the student workshops, the Army hosted a workshop for educators and advisors to provide information on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and scholarship opportunities in the Army.

Students interacted with an Army robot at the National FFA Convention, allowing them to see the variety of STEM opportunities available in the Army.

The Army exhibit space featured a variety of interactive and high-engagement assets, including physical fitness challenges, an Army robot and virtual reality simulators, which gave the students a glimpse inside the daily life of a Soldier. A Military Working Dog, Sergeant Jack, participated in demonstrations to showcase the training they receive, as well as onsite Army veterinarians to talk with students interested in the veterinary field. Food safety officers handed out samples for MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and spoke with students about how food safety is a matter of national security.

Military Working Dog, Jack, demonstrated his training alongside handlers Staff Sergeant Thomas Honeycutt and Specialist Angel Castro. 

The Army values its long-standing partnership with the FFA and looks forward to another successful year at the National Convention and state events. Recruiters are encouraged to continue the conversation about the Army’s commitment to providing exceptional educational and career opportunities in the agricultural industry. 

Each year, the National FFA Convention & Expo serves as an example of the many reasons why the Army and National FFA’s partnership continues to grow. FFA members and Army Soldiers alike hold high standards of leadership and citizenship, as well as a deep respect for and reliance on the lasting value of education. Army Soldiers persevere to adapt and overcome challenges, and National FFA and its leaders are continually striving to become top professionals in their industries.

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