When I first joined FFA, I automatically felt like I didn’t fit in because I didn’t live on a farm or have an agriculture background. But the more that I kept attending meetings and joining contest teams, I eventually realized that none of that even mattered. Sometimes we get so caught up in the past meaning of FFA. “Future Farmers of America”. However, it is important to recognize why the acronym was changed and what FFA actually stands for as an organization.
This week at the Great Indiana State Fair, I was approached by a woman and a young boy who asked me what FFA stood for. They said, “We have looked all around your Pavilion, and we have yet to find it!” I was automatically so excited to explain to them the meaning behind FFA. I had explained that FFA used to stand for Future Farmers of America but was changed because FFA is for everyone. This was easily the highlight of the first week because I got to help explain a part of FFA that not everyone knows.
It is important to realize that everyone is involved in agriculture, whether they are a consumer, or a producer. For me, I was a consumer and didn’t have an agricultural background. But what I did have was a passion for agriculture and willingness to learn. During my freshman year I began to join every contest team that my chapter offered, except for a select few like welding and small engines. Now, I know how to judge horses, dairy cattle, forestry, flowers, cheese, and even could give a demonstration on air layering. The quiet seventh-grader who sat in the back of the room is now serving as the State Reporter.
That is the true meaning behind FFA. Providing members with leadership experiences, growing their knowledge of agriculture, and growing them as a person. That is what FFA really is, a Future for All. My best advice for members is that no matter what walk of life you are in, you belong. Never let your background hold you back, but instead give you a reason to keep on learning and pushing yourself. You never know how far it will take you. Be willing to learn and find your fit in FFA. Maybe it’s a certain judging contest, public speaking, quiz bowl, or even community service. There is something in FFA for everyone.
Building a Future for All,
Indiana FFA State Reporter