The National FFA Organization and Microsoft have announced the Blue 385 initiative, which will be fully launched at the national convention for the organization in Indianapolis in October.
For now, Blue 365 is reportedly focused on bringing technology to students across the country, including rural communities. This builds on Microsoft’s TechSpark initiative, which was launched last year as a civic program focusing on smaller metropolitan areas. TechSpark has five focus areas: digital transformation, digital skills and computer science education, career pathways, rural broadband connectivity, and support for nonprofits.
"While digital technology is transforming every part of the American economy, not everyone is acquiring the skills to thrive," Brad Smith, president, Microsoft said in a news release. "As a company, we're focused on ensuring everyone, regardless of their geography or circumstance, has access to the digital skills they need to compete and prosper. And our partnership with the National FFA will expand this work, helping students across the country prepare for digital jobs and the farms of the future."
Title sponsors include Microsoft and AgriNovus Indiana, and The Blue Room.
"Today's FFA members are our future industry leaders," National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl said in a new release. "The future relies on connecting diversity of innovational approach, solutions-orientation and cutting-edge technology. We are excited that Microsoft shares our vision of Blue 365. Through agricultural education and FFA, our members are evolving their skill sets for the 21st century demands; they will be the change in our industry. Blue 365 can be the spark needed to create the next big idea in agriculture."