INDIANAPOLIS -- National FFA Week is now through Feb 24 -- with Blue Jackets, Gold Standards as the theme.

The theme embodies all the best about FFA members, from the most recognizable symbol of the organization, the blue corduroy jacket, to the best ideals and traditions of national life, gold standards. Nearly half a million FFA members across the nation will participate in National FFA Week activities at the local and state levels.

The focus of National FFA Week is to tell America about the great opportunities available for all youth," said Larry Case, national FFA advisor. "From its beginnings in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization today reaches out to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA is committed to developing character and leadership skills and preparing members for a lifetime of civic leadership and career success."

Beau Williamson, national FFA president and leader of the six-member national officer team, said, "FFA members are the leaders of tomorrow. They are well-mannered, perceptive and willing to help others through community service. They are success-oriented students who are driven to achieve their goals. Just as the blue jacket is a true icon of FFA, the members set the gold standards for young leaders throughout the nation."

During the week, national FFA officers will travel to different regions in the United States to visit local FFA chapters, participate in special events and visit with their state legislators, and in some cases, their governors.

According to the USDA, one of every five Americans is employed in the critical food, fiber and natural resources industries of agriculture. Former FFA members and agriculture students are engaged in these essential careers.

National FFA Week is sponsored by Case IH as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The Foundation helps secure support from business and industry for FFA and agricultural education, and it raises several million dollars each year for scholarships awarded to outstanding members pursuing higher education.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 495,046 student members - all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture - as part of 7,242 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

SOURCE: National FFA Organization news release.