Iowa Farm Bureau Federation pledges $1 million to Iowa FFA

To help reverse the decline in ag educators, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) has pledged $1 million to Iowa FFA, with a portion of the funds dedicated to its ‘All in for Ag Education’ strategic initiative.

According to a press release, Iowa has lost 204 ag educators to retirement and other pursuits, including losing teachers to neighboring states with more competitive teaching contracts, since 2015. Nearly half of all net instructor losses occured within the past two years.

In addition to recruiting, training, and retaining ag educators, the FFA ‘All in for Ag’ campaign outlines a goal of ag education access for 100% of Iowa high school students by 2029.

“Iowa agriculture is a national leader in so many areas of production: corn, pigs, eggs, ethanol and biofuel, and in conservation: water quality wetlands, bioreactors, grassed waterways, buffer strips, pollinator habitat and conservation tillage,” said Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson in a news release. “Our state depends on the next generation of youth to fill critical roles in agriculture to maintain that status and provide solutions to a growing global population. Without qualified ag educators to train and inform young people of future career opportunities in agriculture, we lose out as a state – and nation.”

“Iowa Farm Bureau has been one of the Iowa FFA Foundation’s longest and most dedicated supporters, and we are so grateful for this gift that will have a lasting and meaningful impact in communities across the state,” said Josh Remington, Iowa FFA Foundation executive director, in a statement.  “IFBF’s support will allow us to tackle our state’s ag educator crisis head-on and remove hurdles to attract and retain talent so we can deliver valuable opportunities to Iowa’s next generation of leaders.”

Donations to the Iowa FFA Foundation through February 2025 are eligible for a 50% match.

The Iowa FFA is an agricultural youth organization serving student members and local chapters in schools across Iowa, according to their website.

“Supporting youth and education is a pillar of IFBF’s mission, and we are proud to lead the ‘All in for Ag Education’ campaign through this gift to grow opportunities for the next generation of Iowa leaders,” said Mr. Johnson.  “Agriculture is the backbone of Iowa, and if current trends hold true, one in five Iowa students will have a career supported by agriculture.”

In July, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation announced it would host an entrepreneurship competition for members aged 18-35.