FFA Isn’t Just for Rural Schools

Written by: Kristen Kahler, Reporter

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The National FFA Organization (FFA), formerly known as Future Farmers of America, was founded in Kansas City, Mo. in 1928 to provide students with agriculture and science based courses in their school system. Classes like Horticulture, Agricultural Business, Agricultural Economics, Bioengineering, Ecology and Leadership Development are included in the umbrella of FFA (ffa.org). These classes should be choices for all students, not just the ones who live on a farm. 

“We need agriculture to survive. If you eat, you need agriculture. If you wear clothes, you need agriculture. If you take medicine, live in a house or write with a pencil, you need agriculture,” Virginia Teacher of the Year Jaclyn Marie Roller Ryan said.

This statement couldn’t be more true. Agriculture is essential for daily life, so why isn’t the education essential too?

Knowing where food comes from should be general knowledge, but sadly that’s not the case. Washington Post states that seven percent of Americans think chocolate milk comes from brown cows, and 48 percent are unaware of how it’s made. Americans should be more educated about where their food is coming from because it does concern every individual, whether they realize it or not. 

Agricultural Educator, Susie Thompson is quite passionate with the thought that every school in America should have an FFA chapter.  

“When they go to the grocery store, don’t we want our youth informed as they make purchasing decisions? Don’t we want them armed with the facts, so they don’t have to feel guilt and confusion due to the misconceptions and biased opinions perpetuated by activists, food bloggers and the media?,” Thomspon said. 

Along with a basic education of how food is produced for all of America, FFA also benefits students by providing them with the skills of leadership, management of economic, environmental and human resource, teamwork, volunteerism, healthy lifestyles, scholarship opportunities and awareness of global and technological issues. The FFA motto is, ‘Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve’ which promotes a strong work ethic and a great set of morals for the youth that will lead the country in the near future.

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