INDIANAPOLIS This month, 75 FFA members visited South Africa for a 12-day educational and cultural experience.

Members participated in the 2016 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers, as an annual, international opportunity through the National FFA Organization for past and present state FFA officers. The experience allows FFA members to experience foreign culture, learn about international agriculture and become more knowledgeable of the global marketplace.

The 75 past and present state FFA officers representing 23 states left the U.S. on Jan. 4. The group traveled throughout five of the country's nine provinces while surveying the agricultural landscape. FFA officers met with government and U.S. Embassy officials to learn about U.S. - South African trade relations, toured crop and livestock operations, met with business and industry leaders and explored a private game reserve that is home to lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo. The group also met with fruit exporters, olive oil producers and much more.

Prior to departing the United States, the students completed 10 weeks of online coursework related to cross-cultural adaptability. The program was made possible by corporate sponsors Bunge North America and John Deere.

Kansas students who participated in the trip were Lane Coberly of Manhattan; Gabryelle Gilliam of Washington; Dean Klahr of Holton; Kyler Langvardt of Chapman; Bailey Peterson of Buhler; and Karl Wilhelm of Manhattan.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members belonging to 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.