Before I Joined FFA I…

Before I joined FFA I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had no clue about the diversity of agriculture. I was one of the last people you would have picked to be a public speaker. I had leadership skills but didn’t know how to use them. Before I joined FFA, I thought it was just a group of farmers. All these things and more that have changed since I joined FFA. I hope that you can relate to this list of Before I joined FFA I…

Had never run on so little sleep

During national convention and FFA week, sleep is for the weak. Being a devoted member or officer means being at school really late and waking up super early. Whether the waking up is for SAE purposes or practicing for a competition, sleep is not on your priority list.

Had never woke up at 4 to go to school

Personally, I would rather get to school at 5 to practice for a CDE than to show up at 8:30 and do quadratic formulas.On the day of competitions, there are chapters who travel 5+ hours to get to the area of competition. Either way waking up at 4 am is no big deal to an FFA member.

Never studied for days

The days before competition are some of the stressful days there are. You think of everything that could go wrong so you prepare to prevent that. You learn every little detail on the subject in because you don’t want to miss the little things. Studying for CDE’s is time-consuming. Especially when you are voluntold by your advisor 3 days before the competition.

Had never felt the stress of competitions, applications, etc.

Competitions, proficiency awards, degree applications, chapter awards, officer applications, scholarship applications, and actual school work. This list does not even begin to cover what FFA stress over. Most FFA members work along with keeping up full-time SAE. It’s no wonder that FFA members are stressed to the max. Eventually, all the stress and hard work turn into achievements and accomplishments, so I guess it’s worth all those gray hairs.

Had never gone through 20 pairs of pantyhose in a week

Guys may not be able to agree with this one but girls… come on yall know about this struggle. Going to any convention, competition or trip you always have to take extra pairs of pantyhose. For a day trip, the average female FFA member will take 2-3 pairs of pantyhose. That is for one day! I get that pantyhose are a major part of the official dress, but they can get very annoying.

Had never learned about such diverse topics

Before joining FFA I thought agriculture was just farming. After joining and taking agriculture courses I learned that agriculture is such a broad topic. Agriculture is business, technology, politics, research, education, leadership, growing crops, taking care of animals, and so much more. While agriculture has many aspects FFA focuses on each one of them. It amazed me that FFA had competitions on vet science, public speaking, agriculture business management, tractor safety, etc. Through FFA and agriculture classes,  I learned the diversity of agriculture that I would have never learned anywhere else.

Had never had so many doors open

The opportunities with FFA are endless! The opportunity to travel across the country is one that does not need to be passed up. Whether it’s traveling across your state and realizing what all your state has to offer, or going to Indianapolis, Indiana; the traveling opportunities are unrealistic. Not only is traveling a big plus there are so many other opportunities. The opportunity to make friends across the country and even outside of the US. The most outstanding opportunity is the career opportunities. The National FFA Organization gives away 2.2 million dollars in scholarships. This does not include all the other scholarship chances from other organizations for students pursuing a career in agriculture. Not to mention the thousands of careers opening up every year in the agriculture industry.

Had never had to memorize so many things

The five-paragraph belief statement of The National FFA Organization or also known as the FFA Creed; was one of the hardest things I’ve had to memorize. In the agriculture courses in my school, it is required for all agriculture students to recite the beloved creed. Along with reciting the motto. While our motto is just 12 words it’s worth the FFA members means far more than just 12 words.

Had never realized what I am capable of

Through the help of my advisor and fellow members I have discovered there is no limit to my goals. I am capable of anything I set my mind to. FFA has shaped and molded me into the leader I want to see in the world. I never knew what kind of influence I could exert in my home and community until I joined FFA.

Hadn’t found my passion

I always knew I had a passion for helping and teaching others. When I started my agriculture classes as a freshman I was exposed to the world of agriculture. After learning about agriculture and getting involved in FFA, I discovered I had a passion for agriculture. After talking to my agriculture teacher and discovering more about the career path of agriculture education I realized that is what I am meant to do.  I am not the first student to find their passion through FFA. FFA opens up our minds to the variety of careers and helps us find what we want to spend the rest of our lives doing.

Had never worn corduroy

The classic blue corduroy jacket. The symbol of The National FFA Organization all throughout history. Before FFA, corduroy was probably not a huge part of our wardrobe. Since joining FFA the jacket has become a valuable piece of memorabilia to members across the country. It stands for the dedication, hard work, leadership and memories that have made members into who they are today.

Had never found an organization in which everyone believed in the future of agriculture

“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds” The first line of the belief statement of The National FFA Organization. 600,000 current members know the creed and believe it with full hearts. Never before FFA had I met more dedicated and enthusiastic students. When I look at the students I have met and the students I have heard about, I know that America’s future is in good hands. The students of FFA are the future of agriculture.

Since I’ve joined FFA I’ve learned and experienced all these things. I now know what I want to do with my life. I also know the diversity and importance of agriculture. I believe in myself more when it comes to public speaking. I’ve learned to use my leadership skills and develop them into stronger skills. Since I’ve joined FFA I know the organization is more than farmers.  Its seekers, public speakers, teachers, technologist, politicians, scientist, accountants and so much more. Since I’ve Joined FFA I have become a better person, a better leader,  a better friend, and better, advocate. Thank you to The National FFA Organization for everything you have given me and taught me.

Lisandra Mejia

COO & Editor

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