Wilbur-Ellis Company, a marketer and distributor of agricultural and feed products, announced its sponsorship to support FFA Agricultural Career Network (AgCN). The purpose of the network is to help connect agricultural students with essential tools and resources to guide them as they plan their careers in agriculture. The sponsorship is part of the commitment from Wilbur-Ellis to help empower young agriculture professionals to reach their career potential while promoting a strong future for the agricultural industry.

FFA is a national organization that prepares students for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. In 2011, the organization introduced AgCN, an online information-based system to help connect agricultural students and FFA members with career-based assessment tools, career exploration and future careers in agriculture. This fall, FFA and AgCareers.com will team-up to launch AgCN to businesses and the industry.

As one of the handful of sponsors to support the launch of the AgCN, Wilbur-Ellis is committed to this unique and important opportunity to support the creation of a more knowledgeable and better prepared workforce coming out of college or other trade-related training programs. The network can also provide Wilbur-Ellis and other organizations with a talent pool of young, educated, technologically advanced students who can quickly come into a workforce and help meet growers' expectations.

"FFA's commitment to the efforts in cultivating the future agriculture leaders made this sponsorship a straightforward and rewarding decision for us to make," said Anne Cleary, director of human resources at Wilbur-Ellis. "From our commitment to FFA and other youth organizations in the local communities we serve and at the national level, Wilbur-Ellis has always had a longstanding tradition of helping young professionals grow and advance in their agricultural careers. We look forward to celebrating the kick-off of AgCN at this week's 85th National FFA Convention and Expo and unveiling the potential of this cutting-edge networking tool."

The sponsorship between Wilbur-Ellis and AgCN has come at an opportune time. According to a recent United States Department of Agriculture report, the economy will generate around 54,000 annual job openings for bachelors or higher degrees in agricultural specialties. However, there will only be around 29,000 expected graduates to earn degrees in agriculture, food and natural resources sectors.

"Wilbur-Ellis is a long-standing supporter of FFA and AgCareers.com, and we appreciate the company's ongoing contributions to help build the skills and experiences that students need to become industry leaders," said Eric Spell, president at AgCareers.com.