Ford worked with the National FFA Organization and Discovery Education to give over 54,000 students around the United States an inside look at how the company is designing and engineering today’s trucks to meet the needs of tomorrow’s farmers, agricultural innovators and leaders.

“Future Farmers of America is the premier youth development organization for agricultural education students,” said Abrah Meyer, the organization’s 2015-16 central region vice president. “We came to Ford Motor Company to give students a firsthand account of the diverse career opportunities within agriculture, and to meet Ford employees who use advanced technologies to solve the practical challenges faced daily in agricultural settings.”

As part of the National FFA Organization’s new AgExplorer career website, Ford gave students an inside look at how its F-150 and Super Duty trucks are designed, tested and built to help farmers be more productive and connected at work. Thousands of students met Ford truck designers, program engineers and product durability engineers through a virtual field trip. The 45-minute event was streamed live to more than 1,000 classrooms, and students had the ability to email and tweet questions live to speakers.

“It is vital to introduce young people to the STEM career paths that power the agriculture industry,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president, Discovery Education.

“We were excited to undertake this new opportunity with FFA and Discovery Education,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “What better way to demonstrate the power and capability of F-Series trucks, and the customer leadership Ford owns, than through the hands and eyes of our future toughest employees and customers.”

Today’s farmers enjoy the benefits of more comfortable, connected and fuel-efficient F-Series trucks that boast features like adaptive steering, Trailer Reverse Guidance and BLIS with trailer tow technology that make their job easier. SYNC® and FordPass® can help farmers stay connected and on top of weather, agricultural news and production. That’s in addition to other innovations featured on the toughest, smartest, most capable F-Series ever built.

FFA and Ford – making a difference together

National FFA Organization is a dynamic youth leadership development organization that changes lives by empowering its nearly 630,000 members to set a course for the future. It operates within the context of agricultural education to complement classroom and laboratory instruction with hands-on experiential learning, useful life skills and individual motivation.

The group’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their leadership potential, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Ford’s alliance gets a boost from its supporting dealerships serving agricultural markets.

For the 2015-16 academic year, the Built Ford Tough scholarship program and 260 participating Ford dealers awarded 536 individual $1,000 grants for post-secondary education. Now in its 19th year, the program and participating Ford dealers have awarded $9.2 million in grants. Built Ford Tough also sponsors the affiliated National Association of Agricultural Educators Lifetime Achievement awards and a FFA chapter grant program.

History of Ford and agriculture is rooted in its earliest days

While advanced technology and robust trucks work to help farmers today, a century ago it was the Ford Model TT – an early truck chassis modified for farm use. Then, in 1939, the iconic 9N tractor went into production.

Henry Ford saw the early tractor as a transformative productivity platform, one that enabled third parties to create tools customers could bolt on to their Fordson tractor, much like the capabilities of Ford’s technologies today. The company eventually sold off its tractor interests to focus on its core products, yet as far back as the Fordson tractor, Ford’s support for America’s agriculture has never waned. Ford has sponsored FFA since 1948, the same year its F-Series truck first went on sale.