I graduated from high school thinking I had done it all. I participated in sports all four years, joined multiple clubs that I was interested in, and held high ranking positions in those organizations. Even with a busy work and social life, I still felt like something was missing.
Sure enough, I had missed out on an organization that would have connected me to my peers in a way that no other organization could. An organization that would have set me up for success in my future career, given me hands-on experiences, and helped to develop my personal growth, while at the same time given me leadership opportunities. That is the National FFA Organization.
Why would I miss out on all of that? Unfortunately, my high school didn’t offer ag classes or a chapter of the organization, plus I didn’t know what I wanted for my future. I grew up on a farm, and I wish I wouldn’t have had a narrow mindset about what my future could hold. However, one thing I did know was my passions. I knew how much I liked working with my hands and how much I loved to interact with other people, and I knew I wanted to be a better leader.
Farm Babe, too, missed a chance to be in FFA. Read here.
But what I didn’t know was hardly anything about the National FFA Organization. Growing up, I was active in 4-H and would have loved to continue that passion forward, but I didn’t have that option in school. However, I didn’t quite know what I missed out on until college. That is where I learned all about FFA. Just as I was active in clubs in high school, I also signed up for a lot of organizations in college. I would even attend collegiate FFA meetings with friends, even though I wasn’t a true “member.” That is where I learned everything I know about FFA.
I learned that the National FFA Organization is a place where students learn to be active members of the community. Yes, FFA members study agricultural education, but it is so much more. It is a safe place where they gather to develop their leadership skills and connect with their peers. During this time, FFA members will create memories and life skills that will last a lifetime. FFA members are also able to dive into different career options and explore the industries and careers that interest them.
Not only does the National FFA Organization focus on the individual member, but it also teaches the importance of teamwork. The impact one person can make is great; the impact a group can make is even better. They work with members of their community and beyond. FFA teaches its members to think toward the future.
Do I wish I could have participated in FFA? Of course. Do I wish I could find out what kind of a leader I could become early on? You bet! Do I wish I was given the opportunity — the opportunity I believe all students deserve — to participate in the National FFA Organization.? Yes! Do I wish I had a blue corduroy jacket to hand down to my kids one day? Yes! I would love to hand something down with that much tradition. But I can tell you that my future kids will be introduced to this great organization.