Monday, June 2, 2014

Developing Future Leaders, One FFA Member at a Time




     Many schools enjoy an FFA or Agriculture curriculum, that is if it can still find funding.  Many misinterpret this program as just a livestock or "blow off" program.   There are some, I'm sure, that use it for those purposes, but then there are some that take a deeper interest  and learn this programs motto and it's core values.

     We ended the school year with many banquets/ceremonies and the FFA Banquet was among them.  Our two oldest children are involved and will sit in an office position starting next school year.  Each member played a part in the ceremony, relaying to their audience, the FFA creed and motto.  My husband and I listened to their words and wondered if each student took the time to really read and recognize the magnitude of what they were communicating to us.  Not likely, I know, as each member was just trying to get through their paragraph eloquently.



The FFA Creed

I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.

I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.

I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so--for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.

I 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.

     Breaking that apart, I interpret several key factors:
    FFA logo.svg
  • "actions speak louder than words"
  • we learn from our predecessor's achievements AND mistakes
  • that we can actually enjoy an activity Outdoors and not just an activity that involves our thumbs (PS3/smart phone)
  • respect for ourselves and others
  • independence  
  • community involvement
     These members learn a plethora of skills that they will take with them to the path of college and into adulthood.  Some of the key components in the FFA motto are to promote self confidence, intelligent choices, team work, human relations, social interaction, positive attitudes, encourages excellence, builds character, volunteerism and citizenship.   This group of individuals still proudly state the Pledge of the Allegiance!  
     So as my husband and I sat on the cafeteria seats and watched our daughters receive their awards, we couldn't have been more proud that they chose to be involved in the FFA Chapter  at St. James High School.  Using this program to it's full potential will instill our youth with quality leadership skills and many will develop the confidence to become competent, young entrepreneurs while utilizing the proficiencies they learned by being involved in this wonderful organization.
     Why wouldn't we want them to join this program?  These youth are our future leaders, let's teach them that hard work, compassion and independence is not a trait of the past!!!

Motto

The FFA motto gives members twelve short words to live by as they experience the opportunities in the organization.
Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.