The National FFA Organization has selected 50 outstanding young people to participate in the 2009 New Century Farmer Program. This highly competitive program develops young men and women who are committed to pursuing careers in production agriculture.

Special congratulations go out to Shane Blaes of Cherryvale, Kansas who has been chosen as one of the 50 participants in the exclusive program. Blaes is currently a student at Kansas State University, majoring in Agronomy and Agricultural Economics. After college, he plans to help expand his fifth generation family farm in size and efficiency, so that it can continue to support the family for many generations to come.

“Today’s New Century Farmer is proficient in fields like chemistry, agribusiness, agronomy and communications,” said Dr. Larry Case, CEO and National Advisor of the National FFA Organization. “The New Century Farmer program helps today’s young farmers like Shane Blaes to prepare for a highly competitive global marketplace, and to develop the professional and personal skills that will help lead them to successful careers in production agriculture.”

This year’s New Century Farmers will take part in an intensive five-day seminar July 13-17 in Johnston, Iowa. The program provides participants with valuable learning and resources that they can take home and apply to their own farming operations. It also helps them develop a network of friends and colleagues that they can draw upon for assistance throughout their careers.

The New Century Farmer program is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred, Rabo AgriFinance and Case IH with media partner Successful Farming.

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