I spent my high school years like many other students from around the country- proudly wearing a blue corduroy jacket, competing in events, and meeting great people from all over California. It was an incredible four years, filled with every emotion known to man. I truly loved the satisfying sound of the metal teeth coming together when I would zip my jacket up at some ungodly time of the morning. I enjoyed getting to chant my region's motto at a state convention. Most importantly, I can not express the pride I felt when I walked across the stage as my name was called for my American Degree. Despite how great of a time I had in the FFA, I really do not miss it. College has done a fine job taking over what the FFA did in my life in the past.
At Kansas State University, most EVERYONE who is in the College of Agriculture was in the FFA. It is a common ice breaker, leading to some incredible friendships. When you and all your friends are sophomores, you take a road trip the Indianapolis to get your American Degree with all your new friends! Kansas State University has the family vibe that the FFA had since you all have the same bond. Belonging to this organization that made a better person four years later will always hold a place in your heart. From a sea of blue to an ocean of purple, there is really no difference.
At Kansas State University's College of Agriculture, you get to experience all different forms of agriculture hands on. I have taken agronomy, economics, animal science, communications and so many other types of agriculture courses. That is not even the extent of the possibilities of those in the College of Agriculture. I have gotten to expand my horizons and learn about all the different aspects that make up our incredible industry. Just as the CDEs teach us all different career applicable skills, these different classes also teach us the skills we will need in our workplaces. It is the goal of the university to teach us what we will need to know once we get our "big-kid jobs". FFA also used a similar "hands-on approach" that K-State uses. You are never bored, and you never stop learning about the wonderful world of agriculture.
Both FFA and college promote getting jobs. For many majors, an internship is not just suggested but is required for graduation. Kansas State University and other universities know the importance of getting real-world experiences to help you in your studies. It gives learning a more personal connection. FFA had placement awards and recognitions given to students to help incentivize people to get jobs in the agriculture industry. This helps get the next generation hooked on working and agriculture. Helping kids and young adults feel satisfied and fulfilled in their industry was what FFA started and college has continued.
Finally, in the FFA, you get to see friends get big awards and leadership positions. This is definitely exciting and often makes you very proud. College is the same way. It is exciting to see your friend's name on the semester's honor list, get to take exciting study abroad trips, and lock in incredible internships or jobs. You feel that same level of pride and excitement for them as their hard work pays off. Usually, these successes can be traced back to the skills, morals, and work ethic developed in the FFA.
So when people ask me if I miss FFA, I can easily say no. Not because my time was miserable and I hated it, but because really my time with the organization is not over.