Have you ever wondered what FFA means? Are you interested in agriculture and meeting new people? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then Future Farmers of American (FFA) is for you.
The goal of FFA is to help students learn about leadership and public speaking skills. It started in 1928 in Kansas City. The club is designed to help students get ready for careers in business, science, and technology of agriculture.
Even if they’re not involved in FFA, students at FCHS may already be aware of the group’s many community service programs. During Christmas time they make wreaths and take them to nursing homes, and they make their own apple butter and sell it during the fall season. During the summertime, they have a leadership camp where they spend a week learning about communication skills and teamwork. According to FFA Adviser Russell Jennings, they’re hoping to plan a Thanksgiving dinner in November for local emergency medical services personnel.
FFA President Erika Schmack says that for her, FFA means, “Community and the bonds they have developed within the chapter.” She describes the atmosphere as, “Fun and outgoing, and the officers are really close with each other. We work hard to share that connection with the other members so they feel welcomed.” The reason she joined this club was for her brother. “He was an officer and I always admired him growing up, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” she said.
Jennings says, “FFA really broadens your horizons and it lets people know that there is more out there than just college for the future.” Jennings does supervised agricultural experiences which are similar to those students learn in his classes. They might include raising animals or pet sitting, experiences which can later help a student get a job.
According to FFA officer Isaac Fick, FFA means, “Connection and community. We also share a lot of new learning experiences with each other.” Isaac joined the club because he has a passion for plants and wanted to learn more about them. He also says the club, “Revolves around working together and being open-minded.”
The FFA club meets once a month and during club days in room 1415. The club has a lot of old traditions, so they start off and end with ceremonies. “It’s like a little play that talks about what each officer does and their stations,” said Jennings.
On Oct. 26-29 club members went to a national FFA convention in Indianapolis attended by 66,000 FFA members nationwide. Students attended conferences, leadership workshops, and agricultural advocacy workshops. “National convention was really fun, because I got to meet people from all over the country, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico,” said Schmack. “It was nice to know that everyone attending was there for the same purpose,” Schmack added.