Our Opinion: FFA key to ag’s future

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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This week is National FFA Week, celebrated in the broader agricultural community as one of the most premiere organizations in the industry.

Since the early 1900s, FFA has strove to advance agricultural education and development of farming’s next leaders. Agriculture is a staple industry in the country and right here in our own state, and if ag is to continue to play such an important role, the industry will need strong leadership, which is where FFA — Future Farmers of America — will play a key role, especially as technology continues to play a defining role in agriculture. Students won’t necessarily be growing corn or raising animals. They may be flying drones in order to gauge soil health or they will be operating and repairing the robots of a high-tech dairy operation.

But it’s important to realize that FFA is an all encompassing institution. Of its thousands of members nationwide, many will not be going into agriculture as a farmer or producer and here is where it becomes necessary to recognize just how broad of an asset FFA is, because the skills that students learn from being involved in FFA translate widely across the spectrum of careers open to them. They will take with them networking, speaking and collaboration skills that are just as important in medicine, teaching and the board room as they are at the local level in the bread basket of a country.

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Youth benefit tremendously from their time in FFA and thanks to that involvement they are better placed to not only be the backbone of farming, but the foundation for the future.