U.S. Education Official to Speak at Events Surrounding 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis

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Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach John White will address more than 100 college students seeking to become agriculture teachers as part of activities during the 85th National FFA Convention this week in Indianapolis. White will speak to the students on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at a dinner for Alpha Tau Alpha, a national organization for college students majoring in agricultural or extension education.

According to the National FFA, a shortage of qualified agriculture teachers is the greatest challenge facing FFA and agriculture education. The U.S. Department of Education is working with the FFA and thousands of educators to elevate the teaching profession. President Obama has proposed investments to support innovation and improvement in recruitment, preparation and compensation to attract top talent into the profession and keep effective teachers from leaving. Earlier this year, the Department also released a vision for the future of teaching – the RESPECT Project – which is summarized in a teacher-written document based on discussions with thousands of educators, including agriculture teachers.

In addition to the address to the Alpha Tau Alpha dinner, White will be participating in other events related to the FFA convention, listed below: