“I believe in the future of agriculture…”

That’s the first line to the National FFA Organization’s creed. It’s a line I learned when I was probably 10.

My journey through the FFA really began by watching my two brothers and my sister walk across the stage in our high school auditorium to accept various degrees and awards for their participation in our chapter, the Wapsie Valley FFA chapter.

As I sat in the auditorium seats as a young girl with my parents, I knew it was something special.

And it’s special for a lot more kids these days as FFA branches beyond its rural roots.

Today FFA is for kids from the city and the suburbs, just as much as those from the country. In fact, an FFA-sponsored program is helping boost science education in high schools and fits in perfectly with the push by Iowa and other states to beef up teaching of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

And the great thing about FFA today, is that every kid can participate.

You see, I was never the greatest athlete or the very best student. But something about zipping up that national blue colored corduroy jacket gave me the confidence to be a part of speaking events and contests through local, state and national meetings.

Throughout my four years of FFA in high school, I learned how to properly run a meeting, mentored younger students, helped with safety demonstration days and took part in several different contests and events. I even raised rabbits, where I learned to maintain records keeping track of births, deaths, feed costs, and even depreciation of the equipment.

One of my favorite parts about being a member was traveling for contests and events to locations in Iowa and throughout the United States. I’m still in contact with FFA members from all over the country that I met as a member of the national FFA band.

FFA isn’t just for the farm kids; many of the classmates and FFA members I met from different states had no experience living or working on the farm.

FFA was a great way for me to get more involved at school and in my community. Not only did I learn more about agriculture, I learned more about myself as well. Through various contests and opportunities, I learned ‘real world’ skills that have served me well. And I still believe in the future of agriculture.

Written by Bethany Pint
Bethany is an Ag Commodities Writer for Iowa Farm Bureau.