Most people know FFA as an acronym for “Future Farmers of America.” However, in the New Prairie chapter it means something a little different: Family, Friends, Agriculture.
This is a saying we strive to live by in our chapter, we even plastered it to the front of our 2019-2020 chapter spirit wear. The core of FFA is agriculture, but it has become so much more than that to many members nationwide.
Family. Many FFA members are multi-generational. Their parents were members, their grandparents were members, some may have great grandparents that were members. They have aunts and uncles that built the foundation of FFA.
But for a lot of members, they are the first in their family. Every generation has set the standards for following generations through agriculture. This has become a much broader spectrum thanks to FFA.
Family isn’t always blood, your chapter becomes your family as well. There is a certain bond between members that's hard to express and discover in anything else.
Friends. This explanation is pretty standard. You make friends in your chapter or bring your friends into your chapter.
It’s much more than that though. FFA is a nationwide organization. From Alaska to Puerto Rico. Friends can be made from all over the place, in all different ways. There are chants for some states at National Convention, or chants just for fun.
A popular method these days is airdropping a screenshot of your snap-code so people can add you on Snapchat.
I remember at National Convention there was a kid from Wisconsin just standing in the middle of the hallway trying to get people to play rock, paper, scissors with him, win or lose he would ask for your Snapchat; I beat him best two out of three.
The Organization does encourage thrift amongst members by having us participate in several workshops and use exercises to help us meet new people.
Finally, Agriculture, the sole core of FFA. Agriculture is always changing, but that doesn't stop us from learning about where we came from.
Contrary to popular belief, agriculture is not just crops! It’s animals, food, fiber, energy, financial responsibility, technology, natural resources, environment, and so much more.
Now I know I’ve just described a very broad definition of agriculture, but all that I’ve listed fits into the assets of agriculture. We are finding new sources of renewable energy through agriculture. You have to have your financials in order to successfully produce.
Technology is the way we farm now, from automatic watering systems to tractors with GPS that can do their job hands-free. No matter what, agriculture is still a huge part of FFA.
I know this isn't the classic definition of FFA that we’ve all come to know and love, but this a definition to remember the next time you think about the three letters that shaped you.
I invite you to use this article to look back on your FFA days, no matter how long ago they were. Feel the nostalgia and relive the moments you swore you'd never forget.
Give these moments a new perspective, a perspective that involves your family, your friends, and agriculture.