When you think of FFA, do you only think of farms and farmer kids who just want to learn about tractors and corn? If you do, I want to show you the whole other side of what FFA really is, and how it can be just as beneficial as sports can be. Both of these extracurricular activities have many benefits, but I want to show why FFA should not be put behind sports.
I am well aware of the benefits that sports can provide. I have been actively involved since I was a little girl, my brother and sister have both been in sports, and my parents were also actively involved. Playing sports, you learn leadership and learn how to work well with others. You learn that communication is important not just on the field, but off the field as well. The list could go on and on about what you can learn, but some people do not realize that FFA provides these same benefits.
I have been in FFA since I was a freshman in high school. Really the only reason that I heard about it was because my older brother had joined it when he started high school. I went into this organization thinking I would not fit in because I did not know a thing about farming. After about a week I began to realize what FFA really was, and everything that I could learn from it.
Leadership was the skill that I started to gain right away. Just like in sports there are leadership roles and leadership opportunities. Becoming an FFA officer was where I began to really become a leader. I took charge of what our chapter was doing and how certain things were being ran.
It truly makes you take charge of everything that is going on around you. Also, when you are an officer you learn what people like, and how they like things done, so not only are you learning to become a leader, but you are also learning people skills. You learn how to communicate with your team, advisor, and your whole chapter. You communicate about everything that is planned. Each month there are a series of contest that you can sign up for, and you need to be able to get the word out about them. You can also learn a whole new set of skills. These contests range from judging high quality meat to knowing how to properly restrain an animal to keep yourself safe and the animal safe. Being in the organization you can learn about almost anything you want.
FFA not only gives you skills but it offers just as many opportunities as sports do. If you are involved in FFA you are now open to the chance of getting more scholarships. Being in FFA also helps make a college application look better, and could possibly increase your chances into getting into the college that you want. Also, you get the chance to travel to some different states. National Convention, which is held either in Louisville, Kentucky, or Indianapolis, can allow you to talk to colleges and let them know that you are interested. This convention can also help with finding a career. They have career booths set up all over and you can walk around and go to the ones that interest you, and see if that is actually something you may possibly want to do for the rest of your life. If you were to run for a national office, you will have the opportunity to go all over the U.S. and even possibly visit Puerto Rico.
With all of these qualities you can gain from FFA I believe that it should be as glorified as any of the sports that schools have. Our FFA chapter in the last 4 years has been absolutely incredible. We have taken our dairy judging team to state and placed third overall, our vet science team went to state, food science went to state and placed eighth overall, and just this year we went to state for soil judging. I myself, have gone to state twice on our dairy judging team, and went to the vet science team. Our team this last year had one-member placed fourth overall, another placed seventh, and one had placed sixteenth overall. Our FFA chapter is out here doing amazing things, but we do not get the recognition that we deserve. People judge the organization right away thinking that it is only for farmers. If schools would glorify FFA as much as they do for sports, then maybe more people would get involved and make our chapter even greater. People need to be educated about the whole organization. Many people are still unaware that FFA no longer stands for “Future Farmers of America.” They changed the name because of the amount of people that were not involved in farming. The organization saw that there was more to FFA than just farming. Others will hopefully be able to realize this as well.
FFA is as beneficial as sports and hopefully people will begin to realize how great and important this organization really is. There are so many incredible opportunities and skills that can be gained from joining. This is why I believe that FFA should be glorified just as much as sports. It cannot be put to the back any longer, it deserves to be put in the spotlight so many more can benefit from all that this great organization brings.