FFA - Preparing the Next Generation
The National FFA Organization is one of the largest youth organizations in the world. With approximately 523,309 members between the ages of 12-21, in 7,487 chapters in ALL 50 states, including Puerto Rice & the Virgin Islands, it is no surprise that have impacted the lives of thousands of young people – including myself. You might have read in my bio that I did not grow up on a farm, rather the FFA is what gave me my passion for agriculture. Some might find that strange, but this organization plants seeds that never stop growing – literally. The National FFA Organization not only reaps harvest in and out of the classroom, but they also are sowing the future of our agriculture industry for many many years to come.
The National FFA Organization works to educate those interested at an early high school level. The organization has developed a curriculum and program that helps the educators and students gain a better understanding of American agriculture. Their agriculture education mission states, “Agricultural Education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.” They have also implemented a three-circle model that uses three sectors to achieve their motto. “Through agricultural education, students are provided opportunities for leadership development, personal growth and career success. Agricultural education instruction is delivered through three major components: 1) classroom/laboratory instruction (contextual learning), 2) supervised agricultural experience programs (work-based learning), and 3) student leadership organizations (National FFA Organization).” It is through these opportunities that these young adults are learning how to put food on the next generation’s plate.
This past week Amie and I attended the 82nd Kentucky State FFA Convention where we were able to sit front and center at two of the sessions. We were able to meet present and past state officers, FFA members, and even the sponsors who make this amazing organization possible. I even had the pleasure of meeting the current National Secretary, Landan Schaffert. It was that moment – sitting on the front row during the opening ceremonies that I realized just how much FFA impacted my life. Now for some, this organization may seem to be all about cows, plows and sows, boys and girls running around in hot, navy corduroy jackets with mismatched black pants and skirts, and a heard of students giving speeches, presenting at county fairs, and showing cattle…and that’s exactly what we are. However we are SO much more. The leadership skills learned, relationships built, and experiences an agriculture student in the FFA receives are unsurpassed by any other organization in this country – dare say the world. Although the National FFA Organization is teaching the next generation about agriculture, they are preparing them to be next generation’s congressmen, company CEOs, and mothers and fathers of the NEXT generation. This organization is impacting people far beyond what we can even comprehend.
It was an absolute honor to be part of, in my opinion, the best youth organization in the world; not only at this convention but also for the four years I was a member in high school. Although I may not wear the blue and gold jacket today, I am a proud supporter, advocate, and direct result of the National FFA organization.
Information used in this post and to find out more about about the National FFA Organization click on over to https://www.ffa.org/.
A picture of me from my days in the Blue and Gold!
Four years later….we STILL love the FFA!