Over the holiday weekend, many of us celebrated the birth of our great nation. Whether it was indulging in hotdogs, ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the local fireworks, or just taking a day to appreciate the opportunities we have by just being born in the United States of America, hopefully you were able to celebrate and enjoy your freedom this weekend. Another place where students get to enjoy their freedom everyday is in the National FFA Organization.
In the National FFA Organization, they use symbols to tell the history, goals, and vision of the organization. Anyone who has been involved in the organization probably knows every symbol of the emblem and its meaning, but if you forgot here is a quick reminder.
- Cross-section ear of corn: A symbol of unity, corn can be found in every state across America. From the first Thanksgiving to a staple in American agriculture production, corn is a fundamental symbol of the National FFA.
- Rising sun: This signifies progress. Just as agriculture continues to progress through new technologies and by responding to consumer demand, so must the National FFA Organization and its members.
- Plow: This simple image stands for so much more as it truly shows agriculture is the backbone of America. Our country and the National FFA are rooted in the labor and tillage of the soil.
- Owl: A symbol of wisdom and knowledge. It takes smarts to be successful in the agriculture industry today.
- Eagle: America is home to the free and brave, thus it is only fitting the National FFA Emblem include the eagle. The eagle is a national symbol that serves as a reminder of our freedom and ability to explore new horizons for the future of agriculture.
It is the last one that we are going to focus on today and appreciate its importance in the organization. The symbol of the eagle represents the endless possibilities every FFA member has in the National FFA Organization. Are they passionate about livestock? They can compete in Livestock Evaluation Career Development Events as often as their heart desires. Do they want to be a leader in their community, state, or even one day of our great nation? There are so many different leadership opportunities to prepare them for that path.
Freedom in FFA also translates into projects. Oftentimes, members are more passionate about a project that is uniquely their own. FFA is all about developing students’ creative sides while also pushing them to try new things. When students are given the freedom to create their own projects, they hold more responsibility and ownership of those projects.
FFA members are also granted more freedom by the more responsibilities they take on. FFA prepares members for leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. In order to do that, the students are given roles and responsibilities early on to develop these traits. The freedom to take on each responsibility and to fulfill it is up to each student.
What the eagle essentially represents is that FFA members can be anything they want to be and the National FFA Organization will help support their members in any way they can. Everytime FFA members put on their blue corduroy jackets and pledge allegiance to their country, “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” they are reminded of their freedom.