Happy FFA Week! It's no secret that the National FFA Organization made a huge impact on my life. Not only did it prepare me to succeed professionally and provide me with opportunities to make a difference but also molded me into the person I am today. Year after year the FFA “makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” It’s safe to say that FFA members will all agree that their time within the organization was well spent. However, what do you do when you’ve graduated from high school? Do the experiences and opportunities end there? Absolutely not! As we take this week to celebrate the organization that means so much to so many people, take a look at a few of the exciting things you can do after you unzip your jacket for the final time.
Become involved in your local (and state) FFA Alumni
“FFA relies on its alumni to garner support for FFA from their local communities, raise funds for chapter activities and scholarships, assist at FFA leadership camps and conferences, and more (National FFA Website).” By becoming involved with your FFA Alumni, you are ensuring that current FFA Members are able to take advantage of the same opportunities that you did! Alumni members are truly the backbone of the National FFA and work hard to give back.
Advocate for Agricultural Education
A few months ago in Illinois, Governor Rauner zeroed out the Agricultural Education Line Item in his proposed budget for FY17. That was a big deal for Illinois because the line item provided additional funding for Illinois AgEd (Read more on that here). By contacting your legislators and advocating for Agricultural Education and the FFA, you are letting your voice be heard!
Join Collegiate FFA at your College or University
The Collegiate FFA (CFFA) is a great segway from being an FFA Member to becoming an FFA Alumni Member. CFFA students promote agriculture on their college campuses, volunteer at local FFA events, and sometimes even have the opportunity to spend time with and mentor a local FFA chapter!
Become an Ag Teacher!
This is one of the best things that you could do to give back to the organization! There is a shortage of Ag teachers, and by becoming one, you are ensuring that students will be able to continue changing the world under your guidance. The FFA molds students into the movers and shakers of not only the agriculture industry but the world. Ag teachers are exceptional people who have tried on the blue and gold jacket, understand it’s importance, and in turn, make certain that their students have the opportunity to wear it proudly also.