In times of national challenge and struggle during the 20th Century, FFA Chapters were a mighty force of good both for their members and broader community here are a few examples drawn from our own Kansas FFA archives during the World War II years:
Want to read more of these inspiring chapter reports go to the following website: https://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/18312
As I’ve reacquainted myself with the countless examples of sacrifices and contributions made by these members, advisors, and chapters of the past I’ve been convicted about what role our FFA Chapter can play in the moments that lie before us now?
Do we consume our time considering how to put mock contests online? (You don’t want my opinion on this…)
Do we ‘shelter-in-place’ (figuratively speaking) and scratch off the year as lost for our members? (So when others think back in the coming economic hardships…that’ll be a helpful reason to keep FFA and Ag Ed around right? We didn’t make ourselves relevant at a crucial time of our communities need…)
Or is this historic moment presenting us an opportunity to turn outward and inspire a truly meaningful connection and relevance towards agriculture? (I’m a little biased towards this choice…)
Last week we meet with our FFA Leadership team and I posed this exact question, how do we contribute back to a community that has done so much for us? Several ideas were presented by our members:
1) Weekly challenges that our FFA members could be a part of from their home with their families that kept them connected together through the summer.
2) Providing our several hundred vegetable starts in the greenhouse for FREE to our students and their families as home-based SAE projects and will serve as their distance curriculum through the summer.
3) Community Vegetable Co-op was batted around since we had to put a temporary pause on our monthly Farmers Markets, allowing students to drop off excess produce at drop off points throughout the community that could be packaged and distributed as needed.
4) We were inspired by a pair of our 8th graders who are working on a portable irrigation system made of PVC for their own garden or also amazed at the lures being made by another 9th grade member. What happens if these members (and many others who are trying new skills) posted their own resource videos for our membership and community to access?
These are all possible avenues we are looking at as a chapter and the ball is in our court. Last night we released our launch for our We Believe Challenge Campaign. Each Monday night through the summer our current and future FFA leadership teams will be providing We Believe Challenges that we hope will inspire our membership to take action in helping advance agriculture and our community.
Our We Believe Challenge Campaign is rooted from our FFA Creed by E.M. Tiffany:
“I believe in the future of agriculture with a faith born not of words, but of deeds…”
We at Blue Valley FFA intend to make these words come alive in our choices and actions over the coming months.
I challenge all of us as advisors, FFA members and FFA alumni; what impact and contribution can our chapters make in times like this? History is now being written…what will it make of us?
Take care my friends and as always, thanks for reading! ~Anthony
Thank you, Anthony for always being a source of inspiration and motivation. I’m struggling with how I can keep my FFA members engaged. I know so many joined because they like to compete. But, I know many want to serve or be part of team. I appreciate this post and I hope to take away a few gems to use this semester with my kiddos. Take care, friend!