This week has always been my favorite part of February, even after high school. In high school it was a week to have brand new tractors on campus, show off to the non-ag students on campus and celebrate everything FFA. Now, it is a time for me to remember everything the FFA organization did for me and everything it continues to do for countless students across the country.
What is FFA you ask? The National FFA Organization (Future Farmers of America) is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Yes, it is more than just sows and plows, cows and crops. FFA strives to develop every single one of its members leadership and career skills to help them become successful in the agriculture industry. It truly is a remarkable organization.
Without FFA, I would not have gained my passion for agriculture and therefore would not be where I am today. FFA pushed me to do more than I thought possible and helped me to discover the leadership skills I possess. FFA’s foundation is a network of high school agriculture teachers across the country. These teachers not only teach high school courses all day, but spend quality time with their students to help them discover where their passion lies and how they can best succeed. I owe much of my success to Mr. Delsol, Mr. Tanaka, Mr. Dyer and Mrs. Giguere, as well as the student teachers I had during high school (Mr. Edwards, Mr. Meade, Mr. Rooney and Mrs. Meade). These individuals go above and beyond the expectations of high school teachers and make leaders.
When I reminisce about high school, I reminisce about FFA. I remember the hours spent practicing public speaking, judging vegetables, raising market animals for the county fair, organizing chapter meetings and traveling literally thousands of miles by ag department vehicles, busses and planes to speaking contests, field days and conferences. Those long hours in the classroom, on the road and across the country is how I developed my passion for agriculture and everyone involved with it. Four years in FFA inspired a lifetime of dedication, advocacy and love. While I remember my time in the FFA often, there is no better time to share my memories than during National FFA Week. If you were involved in FFA, take this week to think about how FFA affected your life. Not involved with FFA? Use this week to learn more about an organization that is positively effecting student’s lives every day.