10 reasons your child should join FFA

By Michelle Hochstein

Confident and capable. Healthy and knowledgeable. FFA helped shape me into the person I am today. It opened many doors for me. Oh, and did I mention, made me realize my calling? I participated in agricultural communications, a career development event (CDE), hosted by the FFA. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to pursue a degree in it.

FFA has been positively influencing future generations, like me, for more than 85 years. Here are 10 things I believe your children will gain by getting involved in this program.

Leadership skills. We all want our children to be successful. Public speaking, group projects and running for offices. All activities that contribute to leadership skills. All found in FFA.

Knowledge of agriculture. How do tractors run? What exactly is a cotton boll? What’s the proper way to handle an animal? Just ask anyone involved in FFA. They’ll tell you.

Healthy living. This organization provides the building blocks toward a healthy lifestyle. Members learn about food, where it comes from and how to keep it safe and environmentally friendly.

Confidence. Many children today have no social outlets. Giving them a chance to meet people, complete projects and enter contests will spur a self confidence in them that many children lack.

Good sportsmanship. We live in a world where “every child is a winner.” But the truth is they aren’t. What they need to learn is competition. Stock shows, skills tests and speaking contests are all outlets in which children can participate in healthy competition.

Work ethic. FFA members complete a wide variety of projects throughout the year. These projects require dedication, time management and hard work.

Community service. “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” That’s the FFA way. Enough said.

Lifelong friendships. All things aside, your children will make friends who share the same passion for agriculture. These friends become peers. Then colleagues.

Scholarship opportunities. We all want our children to get a college education. But face it. College comes with a big price tag. Let FFA help you.

And many other skills. Entomology. Communication. Horticulture. Food quality inspection. Economic and business development. The opportunities are endless and expand outside agriculture.

I will graduate from Texas Tech University in December with a degree in agricultural communications and a wide variety of skills. My involvement in FFA was key in getting me to this point. Everyone should take advantage of what this organization has to offer!

 

Michelle Hochstein grew up on a farm in Castro County, where her family grows cotton, corn, wheat and sorghum. She is studying agricultural communications at Texas Tech University and is the Texas Farm Bureau Public Relations intern.

12 Responses to “10 reasons your child should join FFA”

  1. Caroline Galbraith says:

    FFA came to our church. I tried to talk to the FFA leader about my daughter joining (doesn’t go to public school) he scratched his head and said I don’t know, might want to join 4-H. Really? Way to promote dude! We have poultry and she would love to show some of our birds through FFA and get involved. Would love to find out. I’m in Princeton, Texas. Could also join McKinney.

    Caroline Galbraith

    • Julie Vrazel says:

      Hi, Caroline. To be a member of FFA, you have to be enrolled in a public or private school that has a FFA chapter and the student must be enrolled in an agricultural science program/course. Texas FFA’s membership details are here: https://www.texasffa.org/docs/TxFFA%20membership_policy.pdf.

    • In order to be a member of the FFA a student MUST be enrolled in at least one Ag class per year under the supervision of a Agriculture Science teacher. This is a National rule, not a chapter rule, it reads:

      Active Membership – To be eligible for active membership in a chartered FFA chapter, a student must be enrolled in a
      secondary agricultural education program. State associations may consider “secondary agricultural education
      programs” to be grades 7-12.
      To become an active member and retain membership, a student must:
      1. While in school, be enrolled in at least one agricultural education course during the school year and/or follow
      a planned course of study; either course must include a supervised agricultural experience program, the
      objective of which is preparation for an agricultural career.
      2. Show an interest in the affairs of the organization by attending meetings, striving for degrees of
      membership and participating in other organized activities of the chapter.
      3. Pay all current state and national dues by the date determined by the chapter.
      4. Display conduct consistent with the ideals and purposes of the National FFA Organization.

      https://www.ffa.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/about_constitution.pdf

      Unfortunately many people do not know this (including councilors) and many students are unable to show animals and compete in events under the FFA due to lack of their active status. A good way to still be involved and show is to join a local 4-H group.

      • Isn’t there a provision where an ISD’s superintendent can approve an out-of-district student to join his school’s FFA program?

    • Lori Hindman says:

      Caroline – My son is an Ag Science teacher in E TX. To join FFA you must be enrolled in a school with an FFA chapter and be a student in the Ag courses offered as Julie pointed out. I applaud the FFA leader for pointing you toward 4-H, their program offers all that FFA offers including scholarship opportunities. Both of my boys were members of FFA and 4-H during their public school careers. Our youngest earned scholarships through both programs.

      • Being in 4-H is a wonderful way to be involed in Ag and still have all the leadership skills that FFA has. There are a lot of my daughters (high school) FFA Chapter who are involed in 4-H as well

  2. danette says:

    Can homeschool children participate? What activities do the students do besides show animals?

    • You should check. I teach in Missouri, and home school children can participate, if they are enrolled in an agriculture class at a school that has FFA.

    • I am not really sure on the details of how to join, but there is a home schooled member of our chapter that attends ag class at our public school, and is home schooled for everything else.

    • Leah Maroney says:

      To be in the FFA you have to go to a public or private school that has an FFA chapter. FFA is SO much more than having an animal to show! There are public speaking contests, judging contests, and more! As a member of the FFA, when I first joined I had NO idea I would develop a love for agriculture like I did and now as I will graduate from high school next year I’m looking for a college with an agriculture program and a collegiate FFA!

    • Danette,

      I am a junior in high school, been involved in FFA since the 6th grade, and a state winner in multiple competitions.

      When my family looked at homeschooling for my younger brother, we discovered that there was a sort of “district” where once a week, homeschoolers from the area can meet together to participate in sports, clubs, and novelty classes (such as ag).

      Many of these districts have FFA. I’d encourage you to look into what your local homeschoolers group has to offer. FFA has changed my life for the good!

      You can check out more about myself and oppurtunities in FFA through my blog, which doubled as my proficiency award and I am a national finalist.

  3. i had home schooler in my Ag classes. They came to school to take ag so they could be in FFA.

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