A group of FFA members recognized last fall as finalists for both American Star Awards and National Proficiency Awards have traveled to Ireland this week (June 8-16, 2017) as part of a travel experience designed to empower them with a global perspective of agriculture.

Through the Stars and Proficiency International Travel Experience, participants (PDF: list of participants) gain knowledge by visiting farms and agribusinesses. The experience has five primary objectives:

  • Allow participants to develop a global perspective and become more culturally aware of the diversity in agriculture around the world.
  • Increase awareness about the ever-changing global market-place.
  • Connect global industry leaders with FFA members for internship and employment opportunities
  • Empower participants with global knowledge, making them better able to share intercultural messages to FFA members in their home state.
  • Create a sense of community with people of other cultures and those involved in agriculture.

This international travel experience is available to all of the star finalists and one proficiency finalists in each proficiency award area. National proficiency finalists who wish to participate complete a written application prior to the national convention and are then interviewed immediately after the proficiency award judging interviews at the National FFA Convention & Expo.

While in Ireland, this year’s participants are scheduled to visit the famed Rock of Cashel, the Irish National Stud & Gardens, a sheep farm, a dairy farm, Blarney Castle, a water buffalo milk farm, a mussel farm and Killarney. A sheep farm, the Cliffs of Moher, a potato farm and a Christmas tree farm is also planned.

Check out their updates live from the #IrelandFFAExperience: