I have a confession to make: I was never an FFA member. When I look back on my high school years, that’s probably the single biggest thing I regret never having had the opportunity to be a part of.
My home county didn’t have much of an FFA presence, I think there were literally two chapters in the entire county. We didn’t even live in a school district that had a chapter until I was already a senior in high school, and for whatever reason, they weren’t too keen on me enrolling in their ag class for half a school year only for the sake of me getting a blue corduroy. There was always something about those kids that made me tip my hat, nevertheless. There’s something so professional about the jackets, the degree chains, and the neckties that were enough to even make an accomplished 4-H showman like me a bit jealous. Still, I knew this was an organization that deserved my support. When one kid told me FFA members were all “wannabe farm kids” I laughed in his face. (He’d never shown a single animal in his life, nor completed a 4-H project, or raised much other than dogs by the way.) Everyone around here knows that if you’re a farmer’s child and you grew up in rural America, chances are you were an avid member of the FFA.
After 21 years of life, I got the chance to go to State Convention. Not just attend Convention mind you, I got paid to be there. Part of me wondered what the experience would be like with me being an “outsider” and all, but right from the opening of the first session, I felt right at home. I was home because like the high schoolers around me, I could honestly say “I believe in the future of agriculture…”
Check out the blog post I did for the Farm and Dairy about the whole experience!