future farmers of america

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.

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.


The Importance of your local FFA Chapter

It is fast approaching that time of year where various school teams, organizations, clubs, etc come to your door, or place of business, asking for donations. They might hand you a holiday shopping catalog, or food order and want you to give to their cause. There is nothing wrong with any of this but this year I ask that you take notice of one group in particular, FFA.

Around this time every year FFA (Future Farmers of America) chapters across the country start their annual Fruit Sales. The FFA Members are asked to sell fresh fruit, sometimes other goodies, and the proceeds go to the local chapter. This may seem just like any other organization knocking on your door hoping that you will make a contribution, but let me explain how the FFA differs from many of the others.

1. FFA Chapters normally don’t receive any school funding. At my high school if our Ag. teacher wanted to take us to a field trip ALL the travel expenses were paid for out of the FFA money, even if some of the students were not FFA Members. The FFA Chapter also had to purchase many of the tools and equipment as well as the projects and parts/materials to finish the projects for the mechanics and restoration classes.

2. Most FFA Chapters have a very limited number of fundraisers every year.

3. You can easily see where the FFA Money is being spent. For example, the FFA Advisor may choose to take students to a large scale dairy to see how things are done at the farms most of us only get to drive past, or a soils lab to learn about soil sampling, nutrients, and soil management.

4. Who can say no to an order of fresh apples or oranges to be delivered in December?

5. FFA Chapters take a bulk of the money they raise to give back to the community. Examples of things my FFA Chapter did to give back the community included helping fix up a city park, clean up the road ditch on our stretch of adopted highway, delivered free fruit baskets to the elderly in our community, teach elementary students about farm safety, teach elementary and middle school students about agriculture, deliver free sack lunches to farmers during the harvest season, sponsor a couple of local underprivileged children to supply them with gifts and warm clothing during the holiday season, and many more.

6. FFA isn’t just about farming. FFA helps teach students key things they will need in life such as leadership, teamwork, team building, public speaking, resume writing as well as other skills needed to acquire employment, responsibility, and problem solving.

I honestly do not know where I’d be without having been involved in FFA. I learned not only hands on things like how to weld or troubleshoot farm equipment, but also many life skills. FFA offers students a chance to attend various seminars and workshops aimed at teaching these life skills.

I strongly urge you to not overlook our FFA Members this year when they ask if you would like to purchase a fruit basket, or even a whole case of grapefruit. If you have not heard of the FFA fruit sales before but are interested in purchasing please contact your local high school and ask to speak to the Ag. Teacher or FFA Advisor. I’m sure they are more than willing to help you out. Your contribution is very important and the fruit is delicious.

God Bless

– Profound Ag