INDIANAPOLIS - For 63 FFA members, 2010 was rung in a little differently than other New Year's past. On Jan. 1, the 2009-2010 National FFA officer team, an FFA state representative from each state and Puerto Rico, along with four representatives of the Stars Over America program participated in the 121st Tournament of Roses parade.

The group arrived in California on Dec. 30, and their days were filled with activities, from meeting with the media, to placing the final touches on the FFA float, to walking and riding along Orange and Colorado Boulevards before the crowds in Pasadena.

An estimated 42 million people in the U.S and 100 million people worldwide watch the tournament of roses. This year, the National FFA Organization was able to share the message of the importance of agriculture through their float, "FFA Today".

At 75 feet long, 30 feet tall and 18 feet wide, the FFA Today float was one of the largest in the parade. It featured three gigantic sculptures depicting FFA members engaging in agricultural, educational and development activities. The float was highlighted by several elements from the FFA emblem, each with a significant meaning. Alongside the emblem was a sleek horse, a combine, barn and windmill, a stand of evergreens, a grove of fruit trees, and finally urban buildings and a communications satellite - contrasted with the rural features to display the scope of FFA activities.  The float was designed to represent all FFA members, past and present, as well as portray a most positive image of agriculture into rural, suburban and urban-based homes, and share the message of the diversity of agriculture.

All of the FFA float costs and expenses for this major communications effort were underwritten entirely by RFD-TV and the sponsors and advertisers associated with RFD-TV's live broadcast of the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade and Equestfest.             

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 506,199 student members - all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture - as part of 7,429 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st Congress of the United States, and is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. Visit www.ffa.org for more information.

Launched in December of 2000 and now beginning its 10th year of broadcasting, RFD-TV is the nation's first 24-hour television channels dedicated to serving the needs and interests of rural America with programming focused on agriculture, equine, rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. The channel is now distributed into more than 40 million homes worldwide by DBS and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV, Comcast, Verizon FiOS TV, Mediacom, Charter, Bresnan, Suddenlink, Bright House, Time Warner, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. Production originates in studios located in Nashville for RFD-TV and RFD HD, and now London, England, for RURAL TV, the company's new international channel, which launched throughout the UK to over 10 million homes on Sky and Freesat in March 2009.  RFD-TV The Magazine now has over 160,000 paid subscribers for its bi-monthly publication, and the company continues to operate RFD-TV The Theatre in Branson, Mo.

SOURCE: National FFA Organization.