High school registration is a nightmare if you have a teenager who wants to do everything. My daughter’s list is longer than the hours in her day. (But who am I kidding? Mine is too and I suspect yours is as well.) We’ve had a lot of long talks lately about her “stop list.” What can she stop doing to make time for what she loves most?
Part of her challenge is fitting in an agriculture class so she can be part of FFA. Admittedly, she’ll have to put in extra effort to make it work and most likely stop some things, but I know it will be time well spent. I suspect if other young people knew what FFA really is and what it isn’t – they’d go to extra lengths, too.
You can’t fit FFA in a box.
It’s not just farming or welding or raising livestock or public speaking or growing vegetables. It’s a nearly limitless opportunity for young people to figure out who they are and what they want to do in life. It’s cutting-edge, innovative, empowering and most importantly, fun.
In a world where more and more young people are glued to electronic devices and missing out on community, FFA offers connection, hands-on learning and adult mentors to invest in their lives.
If I haven’t convinced you yet that young people need FFA more than ever, here are 12 lessons FFA taught my friends and I at Farm Journal that we still use every day.
12. Everything always works out how it’s supposed to.
11. There’s value in a good handshake and eye contact.
10. Be confident in your own abilities, and also those around you, to achieve your goals.
9. Find someone to look up to and listen to what they have to say.
8. Read the instructions and don’t forget to sign your name.
7. Find a career you’re not only good at, but passionate about, too.
6. You really can do just about anything you put your mind to.
5. It’s ok to shake in your boots a bit.
4. Influence isn’t about position, it’s about heart.
3. Keep trying new things until you find your “sweet spot.”
2. Failure stings, but it makes us better in the end.
1. To be the best, it takes top-tier effort. A little bit of preparation will yield good results, but a lot of preparation and study will always yield better results.
In honor of FFA week, we want to know what the most valuable lesson learned, memory made or life-changing experiences you had with FFA. Send in your memories for a chance to be featured in an upcoming article.