As we all know, FFA stands for Future Farmers of America, though with the officer team this year, we might as well call them the future FarmHers. For the first time in history, 5 of the 6 national FFA officers are young women. Given that women were not even allowed to be a member of the organization until 1969, this is pretty epic. Fast forward to 2016, to the FFA organization today, and there are 629,367 FFA members, aged 12‒21, in 7,757 chapters throughout the U.S. 47% of FFA members are female and young women hold approximately 50% of state leadership positions.
2015 was the first year I have ever attended the National FFA Convention and I had the pleasure of seeing this impressive group of young people get voted into office. As I sat up high in the massive auditorium and watched them walk confidently and proudly across the stage I was a bit in awe of their composure. Those kids up on the stage weren’t just any young people, they were driven, talented, and hard-working young people.
My visit to the now, in place, National Officer Team at the FFA Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, proved this even further. The day started with a trip to a local high school, where the team gathered before classes started to spend the morning talking to a few different classes of FFA kids. Each member of the team took their turn talking to the classes, sharing their experiences and passing on bits of knowledge through fun activities such as pretending to be a monster truck or being a captain in a boat. I sat with the class, in awe of the talent of the young people in front of me, and excited to see the involvement and focus of the kids that were in the audience.
From there we went to FFA National Headquarters where the team showed me around and event taught me (yes me, Miss “I can’t remember anything…”) a short bit of the FFA Creed that they all hold so dear.
As I wrapped up my day with this team of driven and talented young women and men, I felt proud to be a part of agriculture. Proud to know that the industry I spend my time in not only support but is the home for such amazing young people. Young people that will no doubt run our government, or lead change in the business world, or maybe participate in STEM fields. Young people who really are the future of agriculture.