The National FFA Organization launched a new program this fall to develop career success in its members.
The Agricultural Career Network (AgCN) is an online tool for students to track their achievements in academics, competitions and other award programs including, but not limited to, FFA.
The idea for AgCN was formed a few years ago.
“Dr. Armstrong (chief executive officer for FFA) saw we do a fantastic job in FFA of developing premier leadership and personal growth, but we were lacking in career success,” Clay Worley, program director of AgCN, said.
AgCN was the solution to helping members reach and grow their career success.
Levy Randolph, AgCN Ambassador, encourages students to take advantage of this tool.
In addition to being a central location for achievement record keeping, Randolph said there are assessment tests students can take to learn more about the eight agricultural career pathways.
The assessments give students an idea of what career fields might be good for them. Then students can learn what they need to do to enter that career. They can also connect with potential employers in the field.
“One of the neat things is in its cooperation with ag businesses and colleges,” Randolph said.
Several agriculture companies, including Case IH and John Deere, partnered with AgCN to connect with students. They offer job and internship opportunities, which student can see online. Students can also connect with colleges and apply for scholarships.
“We are truly leading them from eighth grade, learning about career opportunities, all the way to career success,” Worley said.
AgCN’s purpose is to make students successful as they advance from high school to college and on to the professional world. Worley said he hopes students who find success will become advocates and help future students along their paths to career success.
This program comes at a good time, Randolph said, because our society is becoming more technologically centered.
“I think FFA has made a good addition to enhance the FFA members’ experience in this modern world,” Randolph said. “I wish this would have been around when I was in high school!”
Learn more or sign up by going to https://www.ffa.org/agcn/default.htm
~Courtney Leeper is a sophomore Science and Agricultural Journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Originally from Trenton, Mo., Courtney was a member of the Trenton FFA Chapter.