Vice President: “The reporter.”
Reporter: “The reporter is stationed by the flag.”
Vice President: “Why by the flag?”
Reporter: “As the flag covers the United States of America, so I strive to inform the people in order that every man woman and child may know that the FFA is a national organization that reaches from the state of Alaska to Puerto Rico and from the state of Maine to Hawaii.”
As reporter, I recited those universal words to open many meetings of the Griswold FFA Chapter. This week, February 21-28, 2015, is National FFA Week. Across the nation, 610,240 FFA members are celebrating the history and accomplishments of an organization recognized by the national blue and corn gold corduroy jackets worn as the official dress.
The national FFA vision states that “Students whose lives are impacted by FFA and agricultural education will achieve academic and personal growth, strengthen American agriculture and provide leadership to build healthy local communities, a strong nation and a sustainable world.”
My experiences during my four years in FFA did exactly that. Not only was FFA my favorite extracurricular high school organization, but it helped me develop invaluable leadership abilities, communication skills, agricultural knowledge, and my future career orientation. In a roundabout way, FFA is the reason I learned of the school I currently attend- Dordt College. Dordt had a booth at the career fair during the Iowa State FFA Convention.
Now that I’m an FFA alumni, National FFA Week brings fond memories flooding back to me. Thanks to a strong ag education program led by a fantastic advisor, my high school’s chapter teemed with fun-loving yet dedicated and competitive farm (and town) kids. Every time we loaded up a bus for a convention, field day, or CDE (Career Development Event) competition, it was bound to be a darn good time.
In honor of National FFA Week, here are just a few of my memorable moments in FFA:
- Driving my dad’s tractors to school on “Tractor Day”
- Winning Grand Champion Rose in the FFA Floriculture division at the Iowa State Fair
- National Convention: getting blisters on my hands from being on crutches (I was injured from cross country) and getting signatures from members from all 50 states
- Fruit sales- Wanna buy some cookie dough?
- Bonfires at “The Ranch” aka my advisor’s house
- Spending countless hours putting together the Reporter’s Scrapbook
- Forgetting calculators for the Farm Business Management test
- Pulling an all-nighter at the motel during state convention
- Eating at Bob Evans and stopping for ice cream no matter where we went
- Picking, shucking, and selling sweet corn the year RAGBRAI came through Griswold
- Retiring my jacket at our annual banquet my senior year
Today, “FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet those challenges by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of agricultural career pathways.”
What are your favorite memories from FFA?
Want to learn more about joining FFA? National homepage: https://www.ffa.org/home