ArmyEdSpace Spotlight

Mark Poeschl, Chief Executive Officer, National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation

Mark Poeschl
Indianapolis, Ind.
Chief Executive Officer
National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation

Mark joined FFA August of 2016, where he is responsible for the short and long term success of the organization. Together with the National FFA Board of Directors and National FFA Board of Trustees, he assures the organization's relevance to agriculture and agricultural education. Prior to joining FFA, he served as vice president and group director for Cargill Animal Nutrition (CAN) globally. He joined Cargill in 2011 through the Provimi acquisition and has held various management roles throughout his 34-year career. He holds a bachelor's of science in agriculture from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. A former FFA member, Poeschl served as the Nebraska State FFA president from 1978-1979.

Q: How did you become involved with the Army? 

The Army has been a partner with the National FFA Organization for the past 17 years, sharing opportunities with our students and supporting our efforts in growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. 

Q: How has your partnership with the Army made a difference for FFA students and educators? 

Through FFA we offer students a variety of opportunities. Not all students will attend college, and the Army offers another opportunity for our students as they explore their future path. 

Q: Why do you feel military service should be considered a viable post-secondary option? 

Our membership is very diverse, and with that diversity comes the need for FFA to be in a position where we can challenge students, offer opportunities to develop skills and be an attractive option for youth who have a world of opportunities open to them. For some of our members, a military path is an option that works best for them and their future career goals. 

Q: Many FFA students are interested in pursuing careers in the agriculture industry. How does the Army fit into that equation?

FFA currently has more than 650,000 members and the opportunities in agriculture continue to grow. Currently there are more than 250 careers in agriculture and through AgExplorer our students have the opportunity to delve into these opportunities to find a good fit for them and their future. Agriculture is diverse and many skills are often needed. Many of these skills can be learned not only in FFA, but also through involvement in the Army and other military branches. 

Q: What is your favorite part about the Army’s involvement at the National FFA Convention & Expo? Why? 

It’s always exciting to watch the members at the convention and see their enthusiasm at the different events. During the expo, they have an opportunity to explore different career pathways, but also different types of innovation that are currently occurring in the industry. The Army’s booth at the expo is always interactive and a major draw for our members. 

Spotlight Archive