March 20, 2013

What FFA means to me.


*Guest post by Nebraska State FFA Association President, Alix Mashino

alix-for-web3Every day of the year I am so blessed to be a part of the FFA Organization. During National Ag Week especially, I am reminded of how necessary it is when it comes to the future of the agricultural industry. For those of you unaware about the specifics of the National FFA Organization, here’s a quick summary…

Well, first off, it is not just the "Future Farmers of America", as it once was thought of. While the National FFA Organization is still is based on "achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists" (straight from the FFA Creed) with that comes so many more opportunities made available to anyone from every walk of life. The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Through the National FFA Organization I have learned, and am still learning, so many life skills that will carry me far beyond the dirt roads of where I grew up.

FFA_Emblem_clear_backgroundJust as the American flag is a representation of what it means to be an American, the FFA emblem plays a similar role in the hearts of FFA'ers across the nation (including Puerto Rico!) Here's a look at what elements come together to represent the history, goals, and future of this organization.

The cross section of the ear of corn: "Unity"

  • Whether you live in Maine, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, or one of the states in between, corn is grown somewhere in your state. Corn signifies unity and, from the first Thanksgiving feast on, it has historically served as the foundation crop of American agriculture.

The rising sun: "Progress"

  • The rising sun signifies progress and holds the promise that tomorrow will bring a new day, shining with opportunity. I have a feeling the creators of this emblem would be in total shock if they saw how the industry of agriculture has developed in this technological age and how it's evolved to meet the next generation of consumer demands.

The plow: "Labor and Tilling of the Soil"

  • The FFA Organization is founded on agriculture, the backbone of our country. Without the labor and tillage of the soil done by our forefathers, our country would not be where it is today.

The eagle: "Freedom"

  • The eagle reminds each and every FFA member that they have the freedom to explore new horizons for the future of agriculture.

The owl: "Knowledge"

  • As the time-honored symbol of wisdom and knowledge, the owl symbolizes the knowledge required to be successful in the agricultural industry.

"Agricultural Education" and "FFA"

  • The words "Agricultural Education" and the letters "FFA" are emblazoned in the center of the emblem to signify the combination of learning and leadership necessary for progressive agriculture.

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