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VHS Graduate Named New President of the National FFA Foundation

ImageBy Debbie Laure

After a national search, Molly Avis Ball is the fundraising professional chosen to serve as the president of the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Foundation.

”Ball brings a wealth of experience, proven philanthropic leadership and a diverse skill set to our organization,” said Mark Timm, chairman of the National FFA Foundation board of trustees.

Originally from Vicksburg, Ball went through the agricultural program and FFA Leadership at VHS. She then graduated from MSU with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and natural resources communications with an emphasis on agribusiness management and marketing.

Before taking a position with the FFA in 2010, she served as the vice-president for development and college relations at Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL.

Ball has also held several titles and many civic positions in Michigan and Illinois which prepared her for her position with the FFA.

Ball is very excited about her new position.

“It is a challenge and opportunity to give back to the FFA,” she said.

Her goals are to expand the number of corporate sponsors which already includes John Deere and Ram Trucks and to implement plans for a broader spectrum of individual contributors including alumni of the program.

The fundraising branch of the National FFA Organization, the foundation raised $20.8 million through corporate and private contributors. The contributions are used by the FFA to fund leadership, personal growth and career success training through hands-on agricultural education.

”It is estimated that by the year 2050 there will be a population of about 9 billion and a need to fill about 20,000 agricultural jobs in order to meet the demands of the world,” Ball said.” It is very important to educate the young people about food and fiber, helping them to understand and become strong advocates of agriculture.”

There are about 583,000 student FFA members in grades 7 through 12 who belong to one of nearly 7,500 local FFA Chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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