Each July, an elite group of FFA alumni between the ages of 18 and 24 attend the New Century Farmer Conference, a five-day event held in Des Moines, Iowa.
In addition to growing their leadership and career development skills, particularly in the production agriculture sector, attendees have the opportunity to meet industry experts and get a glimpse behind the scenes of major ag businesses.
Last year, 43 alumni from 21 states across the country were selected to attend the conference, which is designed for two- and four-year college students interested in pursuing a career in production agriculture. This year’s 2024 New Century Farmer Conference will be held in Des Moines from July 21 to 25.
The New Century Farmer program offers former FFA members a look inside the business operations of farming. Conference participants represent various agriculture career interests and supervised agricultural experiences. Most attendees are interested in ownership, entrepreneurship, agribusiness, and animal careers.
“The New Century Farmer program provides a pathway for FFA Alumni to advance their leadership, personal, and career skills,” said Allie Ellis, National FFA Alumni and Supporters associate director. “The conference is a dedicated time for attendees to explore diverse farm operations with industry experts and learn what it takes to launch and maintain a successful career in agriculture.”
New Century Farmer helps attendees to advance their leadership, personal, and career skills. During the five-day conference, future producers and industry experts will learn from each other as you discuss the issues affecting today’s production agriculturists.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, agriculture and related industries made up over 10 percent of U.S. employment, and the New Century Farmer Conference is positioned to amplify the trends and needs to grow the industry further. Careers in agriculture continue to show immense value by supporting livelihoods across the globe.
To help offset the cost of the conference, applicants for the New Century Farmer Conference can also apply for the New Century Farmer Student Engagement Grant. Grants are available in the amount of $225 to $575.
The deadline to apply for the conference is February 15, 2024, and the deadline for the grant application is March 15, 2024.