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Essay: FFA makes a positive difference

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  • Published: September 15, 2019*
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  • FFA makes a positive difference
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FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education- this is the FFA mission statement . Could you picture a world without FFA, not seeing FFA members wearing those amazing blue corduroy jackets with that FFA emblem. In 1930 three great men created the first FFA Emblem- Dr Charles Homer Lane; the first national FFA advisor, Harry Oscar sampson, the founder of the young farmers organization of New Jersey, and Harvey Owen Sargent, was co-founder of New Farmers Of America. The first FFA emblem looked pretty similar to our FFA emblem today but just a little different. This emblem still had all the symbols we can identify today. The most significant and recent change came in 1989 when national convention delegates voted to change the words on the emblem from Vocational Agriculture to Agriculture Education. The national FFA emblem is representative of the history, goals and future of the organization. The history of the FFA emblem goes back to 1926 when Henry Groseclose was working on the future farmers of virginia constitution and bylaws. He was inspired by drawings of an owl perched on a spade that he found in materials from danish agriculture organization. Working with others around him, he made some substitutions and additions to the drawings, resulting in an emblem very similar to the one used by the national FFA organization today. Together with the words “Agriculture Education” and the letters “FFA”; they tell the story of the organization's history mission and vision. All FFA functions and paraphernalia should proudly display the colors- national blue and corn gold. The cross section of an ear of corn represents “unity “ because wherever you might live, corn is grown somewhere in your state. Corn signifies unity and has historically served as the foundation crop of American agriculture.The rising sun signifies “progress” just as the industry of agriculture has developed new technologies and developed to meet the next generation of consumer demands. The rising sun signifies and holds the promise that tomorrow will bring a new day, shining with opportunity. The plow signifies “labor and tillage of the soil”. The eagle symbolizes “freedom”. The owl represents “knowledge” as it had been long recognized as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. The owl symbolizes the knowledge required to be successful in the industry of agriculture. Agriculture Education and FFA letters and the words agriculture education and the letters FFA are placed in the center of the emblem to signify the combination of learning and leadership necessary for progressive agriculture. I believe that the FFA emblem should not be changed again as it is a foundational piece of FFA and Agricultural Education.

The history behind the FFA creed is a statement of belief. The FFA creed is one of the longest-standing parts of the organization. Erwin Milton Tiffany of Wisconsin wrote the original FFA creed. Delegates adopted it at the 3rd national FFA convention in 1930. The creed was revised in 1965 and 1990; however the basic values and beliefs are intact and do remain a solid foundation for the organization's principles. Tiffany wrote “to find inspiration in that, men must have their minds not up in the clouds but certainly much higher than the clouds”. Time and technology have drastically changed the face of american agriculture and the demographics of the national FFA organization from the way they were in 1928 when tiffany wrote the FFA creed. As the national FFA organization has developed small changes have been made to the original creed. I believe that like the FFA emblem; the creed does not need to be changed again.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. This is how we strive to accomplish the FFA mission and these are the steps that helps us to fulfill the mission. The FFA motto gives members 12 short words to live by as they experience the opportunities in the organization “Learning to Do,Doing to Learn, Earning to Live,Living to Serve”. FFA members conduct themselves at all times to be a credit to their organization, chapter, school, community and family. Now that we have reviewed a little bit about the FFA emblem, the creed, and a handful of historical facts- I hope you understand the impact that being part of this legacy means to young men and women like myself.  I joined FFA was because I have always had a passion for working and learning alongside all types of Agricultural issues. Being able to own one of those national blue corduroy jackets and to see my own name and FFA chapter on the back was one of the best feelings. I am proud to be able to say every time when i put it on that i am making a difference today, right now, in my community, school, town, and at home and as an individual.

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