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February 22, 2022

National FFA Week: A Celebration of Agriculture’s Emerging Leaders 

National FFA Week is a time to celebrate our nation’s young farmers and ranchers and the important contributions of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). 

Each year, AgAmerica celebrates FFA and the important work they do to pave the way towards a bright future for American agriculture. In honor of National FFA Week this year, AgAmerica spoke with Cassie Perrin, an FFA advisor and alum, about her experience with FFA and what it means to her.  

“FFA is a national youth organization that strives to build leaders and critical thinkers and strives to build the future of America in the aspect that we are providing for everyone. Agriculture is everywhere, and we are striving to build those leaders that will one day change the face of agriculture.”

Cassie Perrin

As a young leader, Cassie is trailblazing a path forward by inspiring her students to embrace leadership roles, innovate for the future, and give back to the community. 

Meet Cassie: FFA Advisor and Ag Teacher 

Cassie is inspiring the next generation of farmers as an FFA advisor and ag teacher in Brownstown, Illinois. Despite not growing up on a farm, her involvement in ag organizations growing up sparked a deep passion for agriculture—leading her to pursue agriculture as a career. In Brownstown, Cassie is in her second year of teaching after helping launch the school’s FFA program. She is also a National FFA Teacher Ambassador and works with other teachers in her state to promote FFA and agriculture. 

“You don’t have to grow up on a farm to be a part of FFA, and some of my best kids come from in town. As long as you’re passionate about it and interested in it, then you can make it whatever you want.”

Cassie Perrin

Cassie grew up in Coopersville, Michigan and participated in Coopersville High School FFA. After graduating from high school, she attended Black Hawk College and Western Illinois University for agricultural education. 

Cassie Perrin standing beside students at an FFA event.
Cassie (on the far right) with students at an FFA event.

Cassie’s deep passion for agricultural education propels her to equip her students with the skills needed to be successful in the ag industry and in any career. Through an interactive and engaging curriculum, Cassie’s students learn the fundamentals of effective leadership, stewardship, and the importance of giving back to their communities. 

A Holistic Approach to Learning 

Cassie explained that while FFA is ag-based, students learn numerous subjects and life skills that prepare them for a career. From leadership to math, FFA students acquire skills that make them well-rounded learners and future leaders.  

“It opens up entire, endless job opportunities. And what I love to tell kids is that ‘I’m preparing you for jobs that might not even exist yet.’”

Cassie Perrin

One of Cassie’s favorite aspects of FFA is that it teaches students transferrable skills that help in many aspects of life. Even if they decide not to be a farmer, there are many other roles they can choose from within the ag industry. Cassie’s personal favorite subjects to teach include animal science and communication. In particular, she loves teaching students with no ag background and watching them develop a deep passion for agriculture after being involved in FFA.  

“Agriculture is more than planting and harvesting – it’s a science, it’s a business, and it’s an art.”


Leading the Evolution of an Industry 

Our nation’s young farmers and ranchers are the leaders who will carry agriculture into the future. From innovating climate smart practices to learning how to conduct business in a dynamic marketplace, the next generation of farmers and ranchers will need to embrace change and take initiative to share new ideas.

“Agriculture is so changing. It changes every year, and we are preparing our students to be changing and to be adaptive to those careers.”

Cassie Perrin

Cassie Perrin standing with students at the National FFA Convention.
Cassie (on the far left) with students at the National FFA Convention.

By teaching a diverse curriculum, Cassie is equipping her students with the skills necessary to develop into leaders with innovative ideas and unbridled ambition to make a difference. 

Giving Back 

Cassie is passionate about shaping her FFA program in a way that prioritizes giving back to the community. Because her FFA program is only in its second year, she feels strongly about thanking the community for their support in bringing this program back to life.  

“We really wanted to stretch the idea of giving back to our community. So, we do a ton of service projects. When I came to Brownstown, I wanted to thank the community that had brought this program back into their district.”

Cassie Perrin

In addition to giving back to the community, Cassie also encourages her students to help one another and consider the needs of others. After all, the ag community demonstrates its caring nature time and time again. Whether supporting one another when rebounding from a natural disaster or sharing farming tips, the ag community has each other’s backs.  

“Every time I see one of my kids help another student, it is just so rewarding to see them actually work together. To see them step up and take that leadership position and to really think about other people. Our kids are very compassionate, and I think a large part of that is what we do here in our ag program. They think of others, they’re very considerate, and they’re so excited to give back to our community.”

Cassie Perrin

Equipping the Next Generation of Farmers with Resources that Empower

The future of agriculture is in the hands of the next generation of farmers and ranchers—and empowering them to make impactful decisions is key. AgAmerica is grateful for leaders like Cassie who are training the next generation to take the reins when the time is right. The flexibility in AgAmerica’s financing can support young and beginning farmers as they continue their family’s legacy or forge their own legacy. In addition to flexible financing, AgAmerica is also committed to providing informational resources to further support the next generation of farmers—because knowledge is power. 

Explore our ag resource library to stay informed on the latest ag trends, legislative updates, and economic developments. 

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