Burnt-FFA-Background

Many people might think that this blog is just all about weight loss and recipes…..kind of true, but I also want to make sure that I include the other life stuff that I promised. I changed my title to the “Farmer’s Daughter”, not because I like the ring it has, but because it’s also who I am. And even though I have a love for music and it’s what I’m getting my degrees in, I also have this massive love for farming and the things that go with it. And I feel that I’ll be able to help raise awareness in farming, 4-H, and FFA through my music. (Yes, I was also in 4-H, but that’s a WHOLE other post 😉 ).

I remember when I first came to Denver and I wore my FFA alumni shirt. People looked at me with strange looks and would ask, “what does that mean?” It struck me as odd, because I just assumed that everyone knew what FFA was, and that when they saw the gold and blue they understood what it meant. (……apparently not…..) So I would proudly tell them what it was, and then some would just nod their heads and say, “that’s nice.” And then some people would actually start laughing and tell me it sounded like a waste of time. (To which I would just say, “Well I’m proud of it,” and walk away–even though I would have liked to say some more things 😛 ). Everyone kind of does their own “why FFA is important”, so I figured with it being National FFA Week–I would give my reasons why FFA is important to me.

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In high school, being in FFA was probably more of the popular thing to do. (Oh the peer pressure of a small town school). But the fact that the Doniphan West FFA chapter was a force to contend with, it was more of a pride thing for us. We were the chapter that swept contests; all of us placing high in rankings, getting numerous awards, numerous members (including myself) received our State FFA Degrees, and a few of us even getting our American Degree. I remember that, our rival schools also became our rival chapters–we had to beat them, and they were always trying to beat us. We prided ourselves on the size of our chapter, and that, at one point, we were the 3rd (…or was it 5th) biggest chapter in the state of Kansas. Weird enough, could you believe how excited we got when our jackets finally came in! You’re like, “it’s a jacket.” No, no, no– it’s not just a jacket, it’s a statement. This jacket connects you to millions of other people nationwide, and it allows you to create memories. I personally have so many memories from every trip, CDE (Career Development Event), and convention that we went too. Especially D-West’s favorite– Hey Cow!

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We pride ourselves on those jackets. (We call them the money jackets, because we would always find money in the pockets when we weren’t expecting it. 😛 )

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My last year of the Kansas State FFA Convention at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas

FFA does stand for Future Farmer’s of America, but it’s not an organization just for those kids who want to become production farmers when they grow up. FFA is great because it welcomes everyone, whether they want to be entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, scientists, music business ( 😉 ), etc. Which means, that we aren’t just the “Future Farmers”, but FFA supplies America with our future veterinarians, biologists, artists, teachers, chemists, and whatever else our future generation puts their mind to do. FFA is there to provide a path of achievement for students through personal growth, leadership, and learning through the act of agricultural education.

Since the founding of FFA in 1928, each of the 50 states and 2 U.S. territories have chartered chapters within their borders. Millions of students have donned the Blue and Gold corduroy jackets, completed their degrees, and participated in thousands of contests and conventions. And it’s still doing the coolest thing ever: helping students grow.

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The 1st paragraph of the FFA Creed (had to memorize this and still remember most of it–but this is probably my favorite paragraph)!

While in FFA, I held 3 different officer positions, was able to place high at numerous CDE’s, was a member of the Kansas State Convention chorus (yeah that’s right. FFA has band and choir too!!! 😀 ), received my State Degree, and it has shaped me into the person I am today. It helped strengthen my love for agricultural–and though I know I’m not going directly into the field, I feel FFA (by encouraging music), I can still help the world of agricultural and farming through my music. This is where I grew up, it’s who I am, it’s in my blood, and as the saying goes, “you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl”.

FFA teaches, through SAE’s (Supervised Agricultural Experience) and CDE’s, students about the agricultural world–when many of them would have never been exposed to it if they hadn’t been in the organization. FFA teaches leadership, responsibility, teamwork, dedication, management, record-keeping, organization, management, and other life skills that you’ll use in the future. Your FFA advisor becomes one of the most influential people in your life. I know personal that Mr. Schmitz (or Schmity as we loved to call him), pushed me in everything that I did. He expected me to do my best and to be up at the top–he wanted to see each one of us succeed, and I think that’s what makes him one of the best advisor’s in Kansas!!! And did I mention that FFA will provide you with life-long friends?

These things that I’ve mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this organization. It’s has such a deep and rich history, and I am so proud to be a part of this history–even if it was just for a short time and just a small part! Oh and another thing–one of the saddest things ever is the last time you get to wear that jacket. It’s just like the last game, play, concert, anything your senior year–the last time you get to wear that jacket is one of the saddest, and you realize how much you’re going to miss it!

This is FFA, and this is why I feel it’s important. Not only that, but FFA is here–

“To practice brotherhood, honor agricultural opportunities and responsibilities. And to develop those qualities of leadership which an FFA member should possess.”

And the last and most important thing that FFA members learn and take into the real world is stated in the FFA motto:

Learning to do

Doing to Learn,

Earning to Live,

Living to Serve

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