The National FFA Organization is the reason I went into the field of Agriculture for my career. FFA is the reason I am able to speak in front of 1,000's of people, have confidence in all I do, and have the ability to work well with others. Students that join the FFA are making one of the best decisions they can make at that point in their lives. I recommend the FFA to any student, no matter what their background is or their future interests are, any student can benefit from the FFA.
I was an FFA member nearly 30 years ago! It was the FFA that helped guide me in shaping my career in agriculture communications, and today I am still involved with the organization as a volunteer. Also today, my daughter is a third generation FFA member. It was the ag classroom and her involvement in FFA that taught her how to study. She struggled with reading comprehension in elementary school. But when she got to high school and started learning how to memorize and know botanical names of plants (an area she clicked with and now loves), her study ethic rolled over into her non-ag courses. So much so, for the first time in her school career, last year she was inducted into the National Beta Club (senior division honor society)! I credit her instructor and FFA for this, no doubt. Plus, she and her FFA Floriculture team made it to the National FFA Floriculture competition in October 2012 and came in 4th in the country! How cool is that?! After all of this positive life-changing experience, she has decided to be an agriculture education instructor! FFA rocks!
The FFA is an amazing organization. Youth are transformed into community leaders as a result of their active participation in activities at the local, state, and/or national level. The multitude of experiences and opportunities provided youth open many doors. The FFA provides hope for America because it prepares generations for their future in service to others.
I have been involved with the FFA organization for 37 years from the community (chapter) level to the national level. As a high school FFA member, I was able to take part in numerous educational and career opportunities and through my involvement I earned a scholarship that paid about half of my college expenses, allowing me to complete college without the need for student loans. At the collegiate level, through FFA I was truly able to apply the FFA Motto (Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve) as the organization helped me find a career path about which I was and continue to be passionate. As a high school agricultural science teacher and FFA Advisor, I was able to mentor and watch high school student members overcome personal, financial, family and educational obstacles to find success in the FFA organization - whether that was learning to stand in front of a class and deliver a 3 minute speech, stand in a showring with an animal they had raised, stand on a stage to accept a proficiency award, stand on risers among a chorus of voices, stand in front of a wood or metal project they had designed and built in an agriculture class, stand with their arm compassionately around someone who was unable to stand on their own, or perhaps most importantly, stand up for what they believe in with conviction and understanding. My own involvement with FFA took me from the high school level to the college level, working with young men and women preparing to become agricultural education teachers and FFA Advisors. I have been fortunate to watch those young men and women take the lessons and opportunities provided through FFA involvement and apply them in various leadership, service and technical agriculture contexts. Several of these college students through the years have been supported by FFA scholarships and several have attended national-level collegiate events that have provided immeasurable opportunity for career networking, as well as advanced leadership and technical content skills related to the agriculture, food, and natural resources industry. Through serving as a consultant to the National FFA board of directors, I had the rather unique opportunity to observe the inner workings of the organization on the national level; I completed that assignment with an even better understanding that the organization is really about opportunities for young people from all backgrounds, all sectors, and all geographic regions across the USA. As my own three children went through the local FFA program, I was able to observe another unique perspective as a parent; three sons with three very different temperaments all found a niche and a place they could both fit in and stand out within the organization. Through involvement with the Alumni segment of the organization on a local, state, and national level, I have felt fortunate to be a facilitator of those stand-up opportunities that I have come to associate with this incredible organization. Now, as I contemplate the end of a professional career directly involved with agricultural education and FFA, I am both humbled and honored that two of my children have been so positively impacted by the organization that they have chosen to continue their involvement by becoming high school agricultural educators and FFA advisors. From the local to the national level, the FFA is an organization that creates legacies!
I was in FFA in high school and college and now hold alumni membership. FFA has been and continues to be the most impactful organization that I have had the chance to be associated with. From providing me leadership skills, career exploration opportunities, and real-life experiences, I owe so much to FFA. I cannot imagine my life without this worthy organization. The national organization constantly seeks out ways to challenge and grow its members. The bounty of leadership and career development opportunities are too numerous to mention. Students who take advantage of these conferences and competitions are more aware of the agricultural industry and their role in guiding its future. I truly believe the success of agriculture in the future will depend almost exclusively on the members and supporters of the National FFA Organization. I am proud to count myself as a former member, supporter, and alumnus of this organization.
The FFA is an incredible organization which emphasizes leadership opportunities for youth in areas related to agriculture. I took my first agricultural education class in high school, despite my parents' and counselor's recommendations and never looked back. My degrees are in agricultural education and I work with FFA members all the time. It truly changes lives. Whether you realize it or not, everyone is involved in agriculture in that everyone eats. Likewise, the FFA can benefit everyone, regardless if their career goals include farming, some agricultural industry, or nothing remotely related to ag. Football stars, actors, doctors, lawyers, and even past U.S. presidents have been members of this youth organization. The FFA is a powerful association.
It is unfortunate that I did not hear of FFA until I was in college & learned about it as part of my education, now that I am an FFA advisor it is an awe inspiring process to watch my students grow throughout their years in the FFA. They develop a love for agriculture which will serve them well throughout their lifetime as well as learn public speaking, leadership & career success skills that will assist them in achieving their goals. The number of opportunities that the FFA offers to students far out paces anything else I have ever seen in any other organization - I wish every student would grab those opportunities & take advantage of them to the best of their abilities, those who do truly shine.
I know I may be biased about Agriculture Education and FFA since I am a professional in this area, but FFA has to rank as one of the top clubs in any school. The reason being is that it stands for all that's good in the world and has tremendous leadership skill potential for students-I don't know how many students will tell you the reason where they are today is because of what they did in FFA. The other thing about FFA is that it can connect with any student in any school-there is something in FFA for everyone. There is a reason why the National FFA Convention is the largest youth convention in the U.S. and many State Conventions are the largest their respective state. Last but not least, there is a bond between FFA members and their advisors (teacher sponsors) that nothing else seems to parallel. As an FFA advisor myself, I get invited to all my students graduations and to most of their weddings etc. You know you are doing things correctly when a student (or ex-student) thinks enough of their teacher to invite them to important family events.
The FFA is an organization that changes lives. That sounds like an over-used cliche, but in this case it's true. As a HS teacher who advised an FFA chapter for many years; as a parent whose children have all been active FFA members; as a local Board of Education member who has seen the FFA in action in our school; as a teacher educator for Career Technical Education teacher who has trained agriculture teachers, I have had the opportunity to see this organization from many angles... and ALL of them are positive and life altering. Kids find a home through the FFA - they learn about agriculture and become leaders, and they learn about themselves. The FFA is an organization for everyone - girls, boys, all ethnicities and religions. Being an FFA member and participating in the wealth of opportunities available to them allows students to become the best they can be and to exceed even their own expectations for what they can do. Hands down, no other youth organization offers the variety of opportunities available through the FFA. I stand behind it 100%
FFA is the greatest youth leadership organization in the world. It helps kids speak, conduct meetings and it gives them skills that are not taught in other areas of the school environment. Many students who were average at the beginning of their FFA careers converted into top flight leaders in the world of agriculture. If your school offers agriculture education in their curriculum, its a nobrainer!! We have had many students go on to higher education, then to high paying jobs because of their FFA experience!!