The Minnesota FFA Association is celebrating National FFA Week this week. With over 10,000 members in Minnesota and nearly 600,000 across the country, FFA is the largest student organization in the United States.

Based around agriculture and previously an acronym for the Future Farmers of America, FFA changed its name to the National FFA Organization in 1988 to reflect the growing diversity of careers in agriculture. Students are now able to learn about research, technology, business, management, communications, the economy, and a variety of other careers in agriculture.

Middle school and high school students have the opportunity to prepare for career success in any field through events that develop future career skills such as public speaking, communication, leadership and hands-on job experience. Agricultural education provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about a field that is relevant to their everyday lives.

Local agricultural education programs around the state of Minnesota will participate in various activities throughout the week. Through meetings with government representatives, appreciation meals for the community, high school dress-up days, agriculture awareness events, and many more fun activities, local FFA chapters will celebrate the motto of the organization: "Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve."

FFA is just one component of 190 agricultural education programs in Minnesota, working towards premier leadership, personal growth and career success for all students. National FFA Week will precede the Minnesota FFA Convention, which will be held April 27 to 29 at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus for nearly 4,000 members, guests, parents, alumni, faculty and supporters of agricultural education.

This year's Minnesota FFA theme is, "Fuel Your Fire." Students at state conventions will learn how to develop their own skills so that they can contribute to the success of others whether it is through a career objective, personal encounter, or friendly experience.

Contact your local FFA chapter or visit www.mnffa.org for more information.