The National FFA Organization and Microsoft Corp. are collaborating to bring innovative technology, science, research, and entrepreneurship to the classrooms of the more than 650,000 FFA student members nationwide through an initiative known as Blue 365.
FFA members are the future of the food industry, which is relying on this generation to meet unparalleled challenges to feed a growing world population. In a modern world where the food and agriculture industries are reliant on precision agriculture, data, cloud technology, robotic systems, advanced communications, and other sophisticated technologies, Blue 365 will serve as a catalyst for evolving sustainability, innovative efficiency and preparing the future leaders who will solve the world’s critical agricultural challenges.
At an event Thursday in Fargo, North Dakota, National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl and Microsoft’s Brad Smith and Mary Snapp were joined by Gov. Doug Burgum, USDA State Director Clare Carlson, and North Dakota State FFA President Brianna Maddock as part of the announcement.
Blue 365 will be officially unveiled in Indianapolis this October at the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo, the nation’s largest student convention. With the vision and commitment of title sponsors Microsoft and AgriNovus Indiana, The Blue Room, a 17,000-square-foot interactive space, will showcase the cutting-edge technology, research, and innovation happening across the spectrum. Through experiential learning and specific focus on the most critical challenges facing our communities — from respecting the planet to the urgent matter of feeding the world — The Blue Room experience serves to inspire and equip students to activate their potential.
“Technology is changing every job, every industry and every organization, and agriculture is no exception,” Burgum said. “Today’s announcement from Microsoft and FFA will provide a valuable tool for our educators as they work to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in a 21st century economy. Given FFA’s long and storied history in North Dakota and Microsoft’s commitment to investing in the future of our young people, Blue 365’s potential to support student learning is undeniable.”