What is FFA? What does it mean? What is FFA about. These are questions we answer in various ways. If you have ever been in FFA you know the simple answer to this. The standard “FFA stands for Future Farmers of America but the name changed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization. “FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of people by promoting their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.” That’s the organizations mission, but FFA has grown to be so much more. For nearly 90 years the FFA has grown into one of the largest youth organizations in the world. FFA focuses on growing student’s leadership skills by allowing them to go to different workshops, conferences and conventions. FFA is so much more than “cows, sows, and plows”. New advances in agricultural technology such as food technicians, plant scientists, and many more have become included in careers that FFA members become a part of. That hasn't even scratched the surface of the potential career opportunities that FFA members are introduced to. The students learn about topics such as; animal care, production, animal husbandry, horticulture, floriculture, and so much more. The Agriculture Teachers and FFA Advisors that teach those students inspire through their actions and passion. The friends that are formed through this organization often become more like family as the bonds you develop are so deep. I was only an FFA member for two years due to our chapter just newly being formed but even so I was still able to receive my state degree. The competitions you go to, the people, places, and memories will impact the rest of your life. FFA is an opportunity to have a voice in the agriculture community. With 9 billion people in the world by 2050, someone must feed the world and we strive to be the voice for these farmers. This world and the agricultural community is changing constantly. Through instruction, hands on activities, and relations between people from all over the country, the FFA is growing these leaders and preparing them for this challenge. Now more than ever our world needs leaders, people who have the guts, honor, and integrity to make the stand that is needed to help this world. I know FFA can help heal people and that’s exactly what we need more of. I was shy before I joined FFA and when I became an officer, the position as well as making it to state in extemporaneous public speaking, gave me a voice. 650,000 members and we all wear the same blue corduroy. The FFA gave me two of the most amazing people who have become family to me. That's what FFA does. FFA takes people with a common interest of agriculture and a desire to be a leader in this great nation and bring them together. FFA is now so much more than a farmer's club, or “sows plows and cows.” It's the greatest organization in this world in my opinion! Why? FFA brings people together from all 50 states and territories of the United States with one blue corduroy jacket! How many other organizations can do that. So, what is FFA? FFA is family, and above all, the FUTURE of these United States of America. God Speed to the FFA.
Kenneth Blanton, NC
Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook. Follow along on Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat @raisedbarn