At an event in Fargo, North Dakota, today, Microsoft announced that it will be partnering up with the National FFA Organization to launch an initiative called "Blue 365". With this collaboration, the Redmond giant aims to bring technological innovation to over 650,000 FFA student members nationwide.
The FFA is an American youth organization that provides agricultural education to hundreds of thousands of student members all over the United States. Through Blue 365, both partners will look to prepare these students in a way that will help them solve the country's critical agricultural challenges in the future.
Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft, commented on the new partnership and the tech giant's efforts in transforming the American economy, noting:
While digital technology is transforming every part of the American economy, not everyone is acquiring the skills to thrive. 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.
In a blog post, Microsoft CVP, Mary Snapp, further explained the reasons why this initiative had been launched, commenting on how modern farms that employ the use of innovative technology such as precision agriculture, cloud tech, and more would benefit from it. She also stated the company's belief that it had a responsibility to help people participate in boosting the digital economy, and went on to declare the National FFA as "a natural partner for this work".
This collaboration expands upon Microsoft's TechSpark initiative, and also other projects such as its Rural Airband Initiative and the AI for Earth program. These projects, as a whole, are aimed at encouraging "agricultural-focused priorities".
Blue 365 will be unveiled in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo this October.