Agricultural Organizations Taught Me So Much More Than Farming

Agricultural Organizations Taught Me So Much More Than Farming

4H and FFA will allow you to learn integrity, humility, persistence, and dedication.

***Disclaimer: This is going to be more 4H based because I was a 4H member for 10 years and only in FFA for 3 years, but I feel that most of the principles I discuss relate to both organizations.***

1. Responsibility

Raising animals and having various projects teaches children responsibility from a young age. If your animal is not fed and properly cared for there could be serious consequences. If you join a team, you are held accountable for showing up to practices, being on time for trips and being prepared for competition. If you do not complete your project by competition date, you can’t compete. If you don’t practice and prepare properly, your performance might not go as planned.

2. Leadership

Whether you’re an officer or not, you are a leader. When you first join an organization, especially as a young kid, you automatically look towards the older kids for guidance. By the time you’re a senior, you find yourself helping younger kids and showing them how to do things. You gradually learn to be a leader even if you aren’t given a title.

3. Basic skills

Many people do not realize that there is more to an agriculture-based organization than just raising animals. In FFA I was able to learn valuable skills that I can use the rest of my life such as public speaking and basic accounting. 4H offers projects that range from cooking and sewing, all the way to robotics and shooting sports. While all of these projects are not required, I recommend trying as many projects as you’d like. There’s always something you can learn!

4. Connections

Whether you want to be a teacher or an engineer, making connections is so important to your job search. Throughout your 4H and FFA career, you will meet people from across the state and maybe even the nation. Making new friends and being exposed to new cultures is always great. Having those connections later is really great when you need a job!

5. Appreciation for agriculture

I was not raised by farmers or ranchers, but I was able to gain first-hand experience and respect for them by being in 4H and FFA. Raise one animal for a few months and you will realize the dedication it must take to raise hundreds of those animals as a career. The day to day experiences and interactions you may have will give you an extra level of respect for your local farmers and ranchers.

6. Character

4H and FFA will allow you to learn integrity, humility, persistence, and dedication. Those early morning bus rides are worth it for the memories and lessons learned. Your projects aren’t about getting the blue ribbon, or shiny buckle. It’s about what you learn through the process. You won’t win every time. Learn how to lose. It’s about the experience. It’s about the connections you make with people or your animals. It’s about all of the growth you made that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

My time in 4H and FFA were some of the best experiences of my childhood. There are so many priceless lessons learned and knowledge gained that I wouldn't have gotten elsewhere. I am who I am today because of those organizations. If you've never experienced either, I highly recommend giving them a try!! (Or if you're a parent reading this, enroll your kids). It's a lot of fun!

Cover Image Credit: Tiffany Jean Photography

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.


"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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Let's Talk More About Lori Laughlin Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison When Brock Turner Got 6 Months

And he was released three months early for 'good behavior'... after sexually assaulting an unconscious girl behind a dumpster.


To start, Lori Laughlin messed up royally, and I don't condone her actions.

If you live under a rock and are unaware of what happened to the "Full House" star, here's the tea:

Lori Laughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — and like 50 other celebrity parents — were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and paid a $1 million bail on conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and honest services fraud. You don't need to know what these mean except that she paid $500,000 to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli.

I know you're wondering why they did it — tbh I am too — however, these parents paid the University of Southern California to give admission to her daughters in through the rowing team on campus, despite neither one of them actually playing the sport ever in their life.

Yeah, Aunt Becky messed up and should face punishment, but why is she facing up 20 years when men like Brock Turner are sentenced only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford?

I hate to bring up the gender card, but I'm pulling it: Why is Lori Laughlin — a woman who with bad judgement who used money to give an upper-hand to her entitled daughters — face more prison time than a man who willingly raped a woman who wasn't in a right state of mine (or any at all!) behind a dumpster of all places.

The answer? Because the system is a mess.

Yeah, Aunt Becky paid for her daughters to get into a school, giving disadvantages to students actually deserving and wanting to attend a college. Her act was immoral, and ultimately selfish, but it doesn't even compare to what Brock Turner did, and it doesn't even effect others as much his rape survivor.

The most that will happen to the Giannulli girls is an expulsion and a temporary poor reputation, however, Emily Doe (the alias of the survivor) will feel the consequences of the attack forever.

There should have been a switch:

Lori Laughlin and the Target guy should have had to pay other students tuition/student debt while facing prison time, while Brock Turner should have had to face over 20 years with more consequences.

But, that'll never happen because our system sucks and society is rigged. I guess our society would prefer a rapist walking around more so a woman who made a poor choice by paying for her daughters to go to a college.

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