During Thanksgiving this week, we will reflect on the many things we are thankful for — family, friends, food, and FFA! On Thursday, our hearts — along with our stomachs — will be full. As we enjoy our food induced coma, let us not forget to reflect on the truly important things in life.
Through the National FFA Organization, FFA members have the opportunity to gain new experiences, build life skills, start on the path towards their future, create lasting friendships, and so much more. While at the National FFA Convention & Expo, I asked FFA members from across the country what they were thankful for from FFA.
Philomem LaFave, with the Mason FFA Chapter from Michigan said, “I am thankful for the support of my chapter and of the friends I have made in FFA. It has been really nice to have another family, a second home. LaFave continued, “In FFA, we are also building applicable life skills. This is something we can use anywhere. The skills we are learning in FFA are building the foundations now to be very competitive for college and for jobs.
With all the opportunities for leadership, another fellow Mason FFA Chapter is thankful for the support FFA provides. Allie Muschong said, “I am thankful for the leadership experience in general and the ability we have to learn how to interact with others more efficiently.”
In addition to leadership opportunities, FFA provides a second family for members. The FFA members with the Moore FFA Chapter in Oklahoma couldn’t agree more. Freddy Ronquillo Alvarez said,“I am thankful for all the connections I have made outside, not just the members, all the people I love in the community — and all the sponsors. But most of all I am thankful for the family I have made within the chapter and all the members.”
Cruz Ballard with the Auburn FFA Chapter in Alabama said, “In FFA, I am most thankful for all my friends, family, and all the memories we make spending time with each other and learning new stuff, learning about new colleges, and different things in ag I can pursue in the future.”
FFA can also provide us with answers we didn’t even know we were seeking. For example, Skylar Crum with the Moore FFA Chapter said, “My family is not involved in agriculture AT ALL. Since I am the first one in our family that got to be part of agriculture, I am thankful for all the knowledge that being in agriculture has given me, I wouldn’t have learned it otherwise and would have stayed in the dark. My mom especially appreciates this new knowledge and learns something new everyday.”
Throughout the holiday season, we are lucky to be surrounded by family members who have guided us for so long. In addition to family’s guidance, FFA helps students research and make their own decisions, setting them up for success in life. Luker Davidson from the Auburn FFA Chapter said, “I am thankful for the guidance FFA has given me to help me figure out what I want to do with my life and make me appreciate everything we have around us. I am also thankful for all my friends and the meaningful bonds we have made.”
Most importantly, FFA provides students with skills they will need to be successful in their future. Abbigail Kleinsorge with the Wellsville-Middletown FFA chapter from Missouri said, “I am definitely thankful for the skills FFA has given me. It made me a more open person and a social person. I think it will be helpful later in life especially since I want to go into education.”
So while you are watching the big game, playing cards with family members, watching the parade, or just doing chores, don’t forget to be thankful this holiday season!