BUCKHANNON — FFA stands for Future Farmers of America and every year, the country’s chapters of FFA members celebrate National FFA Week. It is a time to share the impact that FFA members have on a local, state and national level.
FFA was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928, in Kansas City, Mo. The week-long celebration was then established in 1948 by the National FFA Board of Directors. It also incorporates George Washington’s birthday to honor Washington’s legacy as an agriculturalist and farmer.
According to FFA.org, “In 1950, Congress granted FFA a federal charter, making it an integral part of public agricultural instruction under the National Vocational Education Act. FFA receives no federal funding.” Additionally, it is noted that since the program does not receive federal funding, the FFA provides materials and support to FFA chapters and associations.
The National FFA Organization is fundamental in agricultural education. It allows for hands-on, real-life experiences. FFA.org stated, “FFA members embrace concepts taught in agricultural science classrooms nationwide, build valuable skills through hands-on experiential learning and each year demonstrate their proficiency in competitions based on real-world agricultural skills.”
Educational opportunities provided by the FFA prepare members for a vast array of careers within agriculture. Careers are available in agribusiness, Agri marketing, science, communications, education, horticulture, production, natural resources, and forestry. FFA.org reports that, “The opportunities have evolved and expanded into many diverse fields.” Among career preparation, FFA provides students with leadership and public speaking skills. This also gives members the knowledge to manage finances, problem solve and perform civic duties.
“FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA membership today is comprised of 735,038 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 8,817 local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” stated FFA.org.
To show support, consider the following: Tuesday, February 22 is “Alumni Day”: Wear your own FFA jacket, Thursday, February 24 is “Give FFA Day”: Give or encourage giving to FFA to support students, Friday, February 25 is “Wear Blue Day”: Wear blue to show your FFA pride.
An additional way to show support is by going to any local Tractor Supply Store (TSC) and purchase a paper emblem through February 28. This will support the Grants for Growing Program. According to FFA.org, “Grants for Growing (G4G) is a competitive grant program for middle and high school FFA chapters that are developing and improving project-based or experiential learning opportunities for students. FFA chapters may apply for up to $5,000 through the G4G program, sponsored by Tractor Supply Company (TSC). Funding is provided by consumers who purchase an FFA paper emblem at TSC stores during checkout. Emblems can be purchased at any denomination.”