Community & Culture

Guiding Young People to Build Real-World Skills in Ag

Syngenta supports FFA to help prepare students for exciting careers.

Agriculture today looks very different than it did in 1928 when the National FFA Organization (FFA) was founded, but FFA remains committed to educating students on all aspects of agriculture. While the ag industry continues to rapidly evolve, so too does FFA with help from alumni and supporters like Syngenta.

Dawn Dietz, head of North America seeds sales service operations, serves as the president of the Syngenta FFA Alumni & Supporters Business Resource Group. An accomplished FFA alumna herself, Dietz received the Honorary American FFA Degree in 2022 in recognition of her commitment to the next generation of agriculture students.

“I’d say the organization itself really helped open my eyes to the opportunities that are out there and paved the way for my growth. And I’ve seen that happen for students my entire life,” she says.

Dietz is energized by seeing how FFA inspires young people to pursue a farm-related future, no matter their background.

“With so many more students not coming from a farming background, FFA really shows them the opportunities that agriculture has and where they could go,” she says. “FFA instills excitement and enthusiasm for agriculture. It teaches the kids to really understand where their food’s coming from and how production agriculture works. That foundation is critically important.”

Going beyond that initial spark, FFA teaches students about creating long-term goals and how to achieve them. Corporate and alumni partnerships offer opportunities to guide students to develop professional connections that can help support their goals.
Syngenta employees are among the most passionate supporters of aspiring FFA students.

“You’ll find a lot of our employees are giving back locally with their time and talents ― walking through plots, helping out with various contests and giving feedback to students,” says Dietz. “That really is invaluable to students.”

Syngenta has been a valued corporate sponsor and supporter of FFA since 1963. Currently, more than 200 employees participate in Give FFA Day. That support empowers students to pursue agricultural education and, eventually, meaningful careers in the industry.

With this support, Dietz is optimistic about the next generation of agriculture. “I’ve never seen another organization build such leadership presence in students,” she says. “These opportunities help develop real-world skills that you just don’t get from a lot of other organizations.”

November 2023 | By McKenna Greco / Photography by Ali Hartzoge, Getty