Seventy five past and present FFA officers representing 23 states will travel to South Africa in January for a 10-day exploration of global agriculture and foreign culture, the National FFA Organization said Wednesday.
The 2014 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers is an annual trip for officers that allows them to experience foreign culture, learn about international agriculture and experience the global marketplace.
Departing Jan. 4, the group will learn about U.S.-South African trade relations through meetings with government and U.S. Embassy officials and tour a host of agricultural destinations, including crocodile, dairy, sheep and beef farms. They will also explore big-game reserve Kruger National Park and visit local produce markets and agricultural schools. The group returns home Jan. 14.
While in South Africa, FFA members will share their experiences daily on the State Officer "Brighter Insights" Blog and on both Twitter and Instagram tagged #ILSSO14.
"In the past, we've brought FFA leaders to China and Argentina but, this year, we chose South Africa," said Shane Jacques, manager of state officer programs for the National FFA Organization. "The country's emerging economy, rich history, and diverse culture will lend the students a perspective we've never been able to provide to this program. Particularly with the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, these students will have a front seat for cultural immersion."
The trip is made possible by corporate sponsors Bunge North America and John Deere.
Source: National FFA
Editor's note: Farm Futures' Mike Wilson recently returned from his own ag tour in South Africa – read more in his blog entry South Africa: Land of Wonder and Beauty.