FFA

Raising Kids on the Farm

I recently saw a Facebook Post written by one of the popular Agvocates (I’m sorry, I can’t remember who it was that wrote it) talking about raising kids on the farm, chores, responsibilities, and allowances.

One of the questions asked was, “Should farm kids get paid to do chores?”. The comments section was exploding with opinions on this topic, answers were landing all over the board. Whether you think they should get paid monetarily or not doesn’t matter to me and each family is different. What I think we can all agree on however, is the lessons learned on the farm will take those kids further in life than some chore money ever will.

I make it no secret that I did not grow up on a farming operation. My father was a police officer, my mother was a paramedic and now a rural route mail carrier. Both were farm kids growing up, we lived on an acreage and I was raised in a manner similar to their own upbringing. We had rocks to pick and weeds to pull, buildings to maintain and construct, groves to clean up, trees to trim, the list goes on for miles and I was expected to pull my own weight. In addition to that some of my closest friends were farm kids were I was always willing to help out when visiting and I spent a considerable amount of time with my Grandparents in the summer on the farm. I learned a lot over the years about what it means to put in a hard days work, taking pride in a job well done, and always finishing a project that gets started.
Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 9.55.23 AM
I am of the opinion that there is no better up bringing for a kid than on a farm. Children learn early on that everyone has responsibilities and a job to do before fun time begins, how to troubleshoot and fix a problem, working on a budget,how to help each other, and so much more. These traits are not only learned but become engrained in them, traits that shape who they are as a person. Life on the farm teaches so many life skills that it would be impossible to list them all.

These skills and traits stay with a person their whole lives, whether they stay on the farm or not. I spoke to an employer once about the perfect type of employee, he told me that when he is looking over resumes if he spots a candidate that was a member of 4-H or FFA or mentioned growing up on a farm, the resume goes towards the top of the stack. He said in his experiences employees that were raised on a farm have a better work ethic, better problem solving skills, more eager to do a job and do it well, and were almost always great team players.

I think we can all agree we want what is best for our kids and it is this sort of upbringing that can fix part of the troubles in society today. If you are raising a family on the farm I give you a pat on the back. It may not be easy, but in the long haul it will all be worth it in the end.

Advertisements

Support Your Local FFA

Learning to Do,
 Doing to Learn,
 Earning to Live,
 Living to Serve.

This one phrase consisting of only 12 words have stuck with me long after my FFA Career ended. As a Sophmore in high school I decided to join FFA. My only regret is not joining as a Freshman. I learned very valuable lessons in FFA throughout those 3 years that are beyond the contents of a text book. Like all good high school agriculture programs, we learned about soil science, plant health, animal science, meat and milk production, and much more. Those lessons are important for aspiring farmers and those pursuing careers in agriculture but that just barely scratches the surface of FFA. FFA taught us all about life skills that I will forever carry with me including public speaking and giving presentations, problem solving, research skills, interview skills, leadership, organization, teamwork, and servitude.

My local FFA Chapter, Okoboji FFA, does a great job of giving back to the community. The community supports the chapter throughout the year by partaking in various fundraising events including fruit sales, an antique tractor ride, donations for an annual auction, the chapter pumpkin patch, and more. Okoboji FFA then uses those funds to purchase equipment or materials for the shop, and send students to district, state, and national events. Every year the chapter strives to give back to the community by donating fruit to the elderly, trash pickup on a stretch of Highway 71, present a series of Farm Safety demonstrations to elementary students, educate non-farming folks about agriculture, and many more projects and events.

shop_GTOB_banner_1019x362

FFA is more than just showing livestock at the local fair and working on tractors. I encourage you to support your local FFA Chapter. We all need to be thinking of the future of agriculture, especially when so many of our practices seem to be under attack by the mis-informed. I urge you all to go out to the next event you see that your local chapter is hosting. If you can and wish to, donate to either your local chapter, or to the National FFA Organization. The next time you see students sporting the National Blue and Corn Gold remember that FFA is much bigger than livestock and corduroy.