National FFA week
They haven’t been “Future Farmers of America” for 27 years, not since the official name change to the National FFA Organization.
I always believed “future” was a misnomer — most of the FFA kids I’ve known were already working hard on family farms. They didn’t own the farms, but they owned farming, and they were important to making those farms succeed.
“Farmer” is outdated, too. “I believe in the future of agriculture,” the FFA creed begins, and that future is complex and diverse. Agriculture is research, engineering, marketing, finance, logistics, and so much more. Today’s FFA’ers are as likely to one day be found in office buildings, laboratories, factories, and classrooms as in the cab of a combine.
FFA prepares members for these careers by instilling principles and skills that employers demand. Employers don’t want people who are robotically proficient. They want problem-solvers, innovators, articulate and responsible individuals of good character. Those qualities permeate the fabric of FFA, and most kids reap the benefits, particularly from the numerous leadership opportunities at local, district, state, and national levels.
Each FFA adviser I’ve known in our area schools has been a passionate, tireless advocate for their kids and for FFA. They work hard to be sure their students have every opportunity, and they measure their success by their students’ success.
This week is National FFA week, so borrowing from the FFA creed, a tip of the hat goes to all those who, “…believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life, and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.”
You’ve all made a believer out of me.
— david colburn
Last modified Feb. 25, 2015