What does FFA mean to me, other young people, today and in the future?

By Cierra Rinehart - National Trail-MVCTC FFA

The National FFA Organization’s motto is, “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.”

I personally have spent countless hours in and out of my high school agricultural room with the National Trail-MVCTC FFA Chapter helping our community, attending conventions, and attending competitions for the last four years. In these last four years I have became the young women that my advisor saw the potential of me having when I walked in the room freshman year shaking his hand. Through this organization I learned and developed my potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

I have developed premier leadership from starting out as my classroom secretary my freshman year to then moving to being the assistant chapter reporter my junior year to now being the chapter reporter my senior year. The National FFA organization has kept true to its motto by creating a positive influence in my life in such a way that has molded me into a more well rounded, responsible leader and role model. Not only has the National FFA organization sculpted me into a better leader, but in the process it has positively pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged hard work ethics. This organization has had years of experience of developing amazing young individuals and I can’t wait to see how much of this organization impacts the rest of the world in years to come.

We asked the National Trail-MVCTC FFA Chapter Officers, “What does the FFA means to me, young people today, and in the future?”

These were their responses.

President, Weston Haws

“FFA to me over the last four years has been a time for me to find out who I really am. During my time in FFA, I have participated in many events from soil judging, to volunteering at many community service events. Through these activities, I have found a love for doing CDE competitions like soil judging because this is something I never thought I would do. Other activities I have liked doing are community service activities like Bags of Hope, Pork Festival, and unloading the food truck at the Food Pantry. I have enjoyed these because I love giving back to the community that supports us.

In FFA, I have been an officer for two years. One of the best things about being an officer is I get to motivate underclassmen in our chapter and help them see all of the great things I see in FFA. FFA to young people today is the opportunity to find new things about yourself. Every year in February, we hold an 8th grade recruitment for all eighth graders that will be entering high school the next year to encourage them to take agriculture classes in high school. During our recruitment day, our officers and committee members come down to our shops and explain each class you can take, as well as teach about everything you can do in FFA.”

Vice President, Erika Gallaher

“FFA to me means hard work and dedication. It is working my hardest every day to be sure that I am bettering myself, my community, and those around me. The FFA organization means pursuing all of your goals and working with persistence to achieve your goals. The organization as a whole promotes so many amazing things. It encourages all members to go out and try something new, it works to push you outside of your comfort zone and allows you to gain new experiences that further develop you as a young adult. The FFA organization is developing some of the greatest young minds in our nation and will continue to do so throughout many years. We are the largest youth organization in the United States, which just shows how impactful the FFA is on a global scale. We are the future. We are the FFA.”

Sentinel, Katie Buehner

“The FFA mean that I will be a productive citizen, worker, member of society, and so many more positive and important things that will impact our world. It means that I will do my best to be a productive citizen and to use all of my power to improve our world and make it the best it can be. Thanks to the FFA I have learned so many important life skills that will equip me for a successful future. I believe that what I am saying goes along with all the young people today involved in the FFA. Because of the FFA we get to experience things that many other our age will never experience. We get the chance to learn skills that you are not taught in a regular classroom, many of these skills come from the varieties of CDE’s that we get to participate and our SAE’s that we do each year. I believe that to our future this means so much! We will have so many more productive students graduating ready to take on the world and take care of any troubles thrown their way. The FFA shape so many young lives and continues to do so even after the years of being in the FFA are over.

Treasurer, Holly Lawson

“FFA means many things to me. It’s sleepless nights preparing for our next contest or packing for the next leadership conference. It’s hot days in a sweaty jacket and blisters on your toes from the heels you have walked miles in. But with all that, it is much more. It is making friends from all over the world that share the same passions as you. It is life lessons learned in the classroom that you could not get from anywhere else. It is an unexplainable bond that you automatically share with anyone in one of those blue corduroy jackets. It is more hard work and dedication to reach your goals than any other organization I have ever been involved in. It is creating a future generation of workers that beat the status quo and are hard workers that get the job done. It is young adults that will take responsibility and do what needs to be done. It is creating one of the best future workforces that this generation can create. FFA will hold true to its traditions, and create outstanding young adults.”

Secretary, Casey Thompson

“FFA means a lot to me. There are many things that I have gotten the chance to do through out my years in FFA. Not only being with my friends but getting the chance to get involved in my community. If it wasn’t for being in FFA, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. FFA means a great amount of the world to me and I wouldn’t know what my life would consist of if I didn’t spend my almost four years in high school spending in the ag room. It is upsetting that it all has to end so soon. But I feel that I have grown not only as a student and Officer but into an adult.”

Student Advisor, Tyler Glander

“FFA to me means there is a bright future for the young world today. The opportunities of leadership and real world skills are endless. FFA sheds a new light on opportunity for young people today. The FFA is an organization found upon leadership, high quality work, and high quality students. It means for the future more kids will have opportunities to succeed in the real world. More opportunities to become leaders and great students.”

Committee Chair, Callista Kisling

“FFA is not just a youth organization that a few kids are involved in. It is a group of teens that have the same goals for their own futures. As a member and an officer, I believe in building character, pursuing friendships, and making long lasting knowledge in agriculture. Future Farmers of America is what ‘FFA’ means and that is how you justify how important it is. It is about the future of agriculture and how the young people today are stirring the dust to make sure it is held to the highest of priority.”

Committee Chair, Kelsey Matheny

“Future Farmers of America — that’s the answer most people give when you ask them what FFA is. They might also give you answer talking about farming, animals and or plants. To me, it is so much more than that. FFA is a learning experience and we learn things that can help us in the real world. We participate in activities and contests such as job interview or parliamentary procedure where we run a business meeting properly. The FFA is a huge organization that will continue to grow.”

Committee Chair, Andrew Willett

“To me FFA is a great way to learn quality leadership skills, cooperation skills, and many skills needed not just for agriculture but in everyday life as well. I can personally tell you that FFA is an amazing way to meet new people and make lifelong friendship. To many young people today I think that FFA is a way to express themselves and really show who they are. It is a great way to find opportunities within agriculture. I believe that FFA is crucial to the future because it shapes our youth, which is the future of our society. FFA is not just preparing today’s youth for their future; it is making them leaders for the days of tomorrow. It is giving them skills that will last throughout a lifetime. Personally, I believe no other youth lead organization prepares the young people of today, for the days of tomorrow.”

We encourage any FFA members as well as community members to attend our events and help make a difference in our community. The National Trail-MVCTC FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to over 160 student members at National Trail High School through our educational advisors Eric and Carmen Kennel.

By Cierra Rinehart

National Trail-MVCTC FFA