As a longtime supporter of the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Foundation, BASF takes special interest in developing future agriculture leaders. Now, the company sponsored an agricultural initiative that helps recruit teachers through the National Teach Ag Campaign — a unique project of the National FFA Foundation.

The National Teach Ag Campaign raises awareness of the growing need for agriculture teachers, increases recruitment and retention efforts, and helps ensure a more diverse talent pipeline. The campaign is an initiative of the National Council for Agricultural Education and led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators, with funding provided by the National FFA Foundation.

“Agriculture as an industry is always evolving, and with that comes new career opportunities both on and off the farm,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, Crop Protection, BASF North America. “The future of agriculture depends on students learning about our industry, and in turn, creating a robust supply of teachers who have the knowledge and drive to guide them. The National Teach Ag Campaign is dedicated to these well-rounded educators, and BASF is proud to support them.”

BASF’s support comes at a time where the agricultural education field faces a shortage of talent. According to the National Agricultural Education Supply & Demand study1, the profession has between 800 to 1,000 openings per year, and only about 600 of the graduates actually go into education. At the same time, the retirement of teachers in the field contributes to the gap.

“We rely on our sponsors to help make our core programming possible,” said Ellen Thompson, National Teach Ag Campaign Project Director. “The support from BASF helps create educational programming around diversity and inclusion in the agricultural education profession, as well as supporting our goal of recruiting and retaining quality teachers.”