Submitted by Hannah Kerchner
Today there are 579,678 FFA members in the United States, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico according to the National FFA Organizations’ statistics. I am one of those many members who want to share the importance of FFA in our school and community.
The FFA is one of two organizations that have been federally chartered Agricultural Classes. FFA is important in our school, our own lives, and the community. Our motto in the FFA is “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve” and that is exactly what we do.
The Agricultural Classes that are offered are helping me get a head start towards college as well as many other students. With the Ag Classes I have taken, I already have earned college credits towards Delaware Valley College. Because of the Ag programs, this is the college that some of us want to go to.
Through these courses and the FFA, they offer a lot of scholarship opportunities. According to the National FFA Organization, in 2014 the National FFA Organization will be offering $2.1 million in scholarships for furthering FFA members’ education. Also through the FFA, we are presented with many job opportunities in which we use in our SAE’s (Supervised Agricultural Experience). In the SAE class we learn to make resumes, learn how to keep record of our money that we earn and build an understanding of our net worth. We learn all these career skills in our Ag classes.
On the field trips we have contests in which we are learning about agricultural careers and how to be an official judge of Agricultural products.
The Agricultural Education Mission consists of 3 components. The first is a class/lab instruction in the Agricultural classes. Next it is SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience), where we record our work, as we are also learning new things about our subject.
Last are student leadership organizations, where all these organizations come into play in the FFA and help us succeed and learn to the best of our abilities. FFA is a great way to help to further our education.
FFA promotes leadership, for we have many Leadership Conferences that involve organizations like the 4-H. These conferences teach us ways to succeed in life. They teach us organizational skills and professional skills. They teach us how to deal with our everyday problems and how to manage them. They teach us that FFA is a whole and at these conferences, like ACES, we get together with members from all over Pennsylvania! These leadership conferences really dig deep and make you think about the way you feel about others and also yourself. They change your outlook on life. FFA helps us gain leadership skills to help us learn and succeed.
FFA helps to serve the community. The FFA holds various fundraisers such as book and canned food drives for the local community. During the latest book drive, the Red Lion Area FFA Chapter donated over 11,000 books to elementary schools in our district. Also, this year our FFA chapter gathered 101 cans and won the canned food drive for our homeroom. Recently, we made cards to send to the local nursing home for the holidays. We have always been encouraged to SELL! SELL! SELL! to raise money for our chapter. Our advisor always encouraged us by sending group messages telling us how proud she us of us. It feels good to help our school, chapter and the community.
I feel our school could better see the importance in our agricultural classes and FFA as a benefit to students and the community. FFA should be kept in schools and offered in more schools. Our school and kids in our school only think we just get out of school to have fun. However, its not only fun… we are actually learning stuff that we want to learn!
FFA has a reputation as if we are just dumb farmers, which is not the case. We offer so much more than just learning about farm animals. It’s hard to hear my fellow students make fun of FFA when they do not even know what we do. They have no clue that we help the community and even our school.
FFA is a great way to learn a lot of new things and could interest you in a certain career. Around 16 million of the jobs in the US are agriculturally related in some way according to the USDA. You would never believe the jobs that are related to agriculture and how FFA and the Ag classes will help you build those career skills. Where would you be if you were in FFA?
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