Half a million high school students are spending this week celebrating the organization that is developing their potential for premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success through agriculture education: the National FFA Organization.
As many of you know, FFA is near and dear to my heart.
I’ve never been shy about sharing the life changing experiences FFA provided for me while I wore the blue jacket.
Its easy to be nostalgic and miss those high school days of giving speeches, working in ag shop and attending leadership trainings.
Often, my fiance and I find ourselves reliving the good ole days of our state officer year. We flip through the pictures, laugh at the old jokes and remember the once in a lifetime experiences we had while serving the 15,000 members of the Kentucky FFA Association.
Just because I no longer wear my FFA jacket, doesn’t mean that I’m finished with the lessons I learned in it.
I still use the public speaking skills I learned through speech competitions and parliamentary procedure. Every time I go grocery shopping I use the meat selection criteria I learned on the meats judging team.
When I need a source or an idea for a journalism project, I often draw on the people I met through FFA.
FFA gave me so much during my five years of wearing the blue jacket, now as an FFA Alumni member its all about what I can give back to the next generation of FFA members.
As an alumni member, I’ve served as a contest judge, a foundation sponsor and a convention volunteer. I encourage other agriculture organizations to support local and state FFA activities. I share the impact FFA had on me through this blog, twitter and facebook.
Have you given back to the organization that gave you so much?
Your contribution doesn’t have to be a large one. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars or hours of service.
Often, its all the little things that add up over the years.
Its splurging for that extra coke when you see blue jackets working the concession stand at a high school ball game. Its dropping the price on that show heifer just enough for an FFA member to afford her.
Its a pat on the back and a few words of encouragement to that member at your church who was just elected a chapter officer.
As FFA Alumni, FFA Week is our opportunity to celebrate and give back to agriculture education and the FFA.
It may have been a long time since we recited the FFA Creed but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped believing in the future of agriculture.