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Agrimarketing : October 2009
October 2009 I Agri Marketing 27 FFA members engaging in agricul- tural, educational and planning/ development activities. The float will further be highlighted by several elements from the FFA emblem, contrasting with the rural features to display the scope of FFA and agricul- tural education. In addition to more than 10,000 flowers, the float will be decorated by FFA members with commodities grown by the American farmer, including corn, wheat, soybeans, and cotton. All of the float costs and expenses realized by the FFA are being underwritten entirely by RFD-TV and the sponsors/ advertisers associated with RFD-TV’s “live” broadcast of the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade and Equestfest television coverage. The float also ties in with FFA pro- gramming featured prominently on the RFD-TV television network. “When we first learned of the 2010 Rose Parade theme ‘A Cut Above The Rest’ we immediately thought of the FFA,” says Patrick Gottsch, Founder & President of RFD-TV. “We saw this as an oppor- tunity to not only pay tribute to the world’s premier youth organization, but at the same time to also show- case FFA activities on a world stage in this continuing effort to connect and educate the urban world about the positive aspects of rural America.” “This is a tremendous opportu- nity to communicate the FFA mes- sage to the world,” adds Bill Stagg, Communications Director for the National FFA Organization. “The float is beautiful, and it will be a beacon of pride for anyone ever associated with the FFA.” The Tournament of Roses Parade is simultaneously carried “live” or on tape delay by six national or cable television networks in the U.S . (ABC, NBC, HGTV, Univision, RFD-TV/RFD HD, KTLA) and begins at 11 a.m . (eastern time), plus it will be distributed in over 110 countries around the world. NATIONAL AG DAY by Linda Tank CHS Inver Grove Heights, MN In a cute scene from a recent episode of “Mad Men,” Don is preparing to scramble eggs while his daughter Sally eagerly conveys what she has learned about eggs on a classroom trip to a farm. “But those eggs can never become chickens, even though they come from chickens,” she concludes. “Why’s that?” Don asks. “Because those eggs come from the store,” Sally knowingly explains. I laughed. At the same time I was struck by how accurately this reflects the myths and misunderstandings about agriculture that gave rise to National Ag Day in the first place. As our population has become more urban, the direct connection with food and fiber has been lost. In the early 1970s, leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber commu- nity came together to determine how to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of agriculture’s role in modern society. These industry advocates formed the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) and charged it with a nationwide effort to educate all Americans, but partic- ularly young people, about the importance of American agriculture. One of the earliest ACA efforts was to establish Ag Day, which they desig- nated as the first day of spring in 1973. ACA then set about to establish vari- ous educational and public relations programs and activities that could be implemented at the local level in the weeks leading up to Ag Day. In the years since, the scope of those activities has grown, thanks in large part to generous partners such as John Deere and ADM. A key component is an essay contest for seventh- to 12th-grade students across the country, sponsored by CHS Inc. In addition, lesson plans are prepared and made available to teachers, along with information about careers in agriculture and related reading materials. Materials for Ag Day related events and activi- ties are made available to commu- nity-based groups, both for youth and adults. Ag Day is celebrated during National Ag Week. Over the course of this week, a number of high- profile events are held in Washing- ton, D.C., including a high-profile “Celebration of Agriculture Dinner” traditionally attended by the U.S . Secretary of Agriculture. ACA also fully sponsors 50 outstanding student representatives from across the country to participate in Ag Day activities. The students from FFA, 4-H and AFA put a face on the future of agri- culture and help personally spread a message of awareness to lawmakers and other national leaders. I hope you’ll join us in helping to learn more about Ag Day. For more information, go to: agday.org, or call ACA at 816/491-1895. AM COVER STORY/continued from page 25 FFA members will be involved in decorating the Tournament of Roses float. 2009 National Ag Day poster. 24 Feature Story:32 Feature Story 10/1/09 4:23 PM Page 27
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