Like many words in the English language, the word “backbone” has various definitions. Yes, a backbone is technically a spine but another definition of backbone is “the foundation or the most substantial or sturdiest part of something.” When we think of a figurative backbone, we may think of someone who supports, encourages, and believes in us. These people may be our parents, siblings, best friends, teammates, or advisors. I’m lucky to say that my backbone consists of all of these people. When we think of who the backbone of FFA is, what comes to mind? After some thought, I’ve determined that the backbone of this organization are the FFA chapters.
This past weekend, my teammates and I had the opportunity to help strengthen the backbone of Indiana FFA by facilitating the Winter Leadership Development Workshop. During this leadership workshop FFA members learned how to recruit new FFA members, how to plan successful events, and most importantly how they can investigate the impact they have in order to develop a stronger FFA chapter. My teammates and I were able to witness these chapter officers positively grow together in order to provide the best for their chapter. Not only during this weekend, but throughout the whole year I’ve witnessed the talent, passion, and dedication that FFA chapters have. Chapters not only provide the best opportunities for its students, but it provides a place to call home when home feels a little too far away.
From the 208 FFA chapters chartered in Indiana FFA to the 7,859 FFA chapters spread from Alaska to the Virgin Islands and from Maine to Hawaii, each individual chapter is unique in their own way, yet similar way. They all possess diverse FFA members with different backgrounds, yet they all work to grow leaders, build communities, and strengthen agriculture.
Without FFA chapters, its students, and its advisors, this organization wouldn’t be able to live out its mission and vision statement the way we do. With that being said, thank you to every FFA chapter for serving as a backbone. A backbone to Indiana FFA, to the National FFA Organization, to the State Officers, and to its members.
16’-17’ IN FFA State NRVP