Learn more about FFA

Shauni Fox and Izzy Dillon

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FFA. Future Farms of America. When you think of FFA, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is that it’s the club for farmers. It’s actually not. FFA is for everyone. If you like to do stuff outside, or with animals… there’s even something for people who like to eat. There are discussions and debates for people who like to show their knowledge about a topic. There are many different events that happen throughout the year  in addition to these different activities.

Our chapter has been able to attend the State Fair, 212/360, sub districts, state convention, Intense, Ag Education Day, and Camp Oswegatchie. But there are so many other events that our chapter hasn’t gotten to experience yet. For example, State Leaders Experience, COLT (Chapter Officer Leadership Training), and districts.

The State Fair has different competitions like cooking different meats, showing cattle, tasting different cheeses and milk, and so much more.

212/360 is a conference that happens in January. 212 is for grades 7-9. FFA members build their own growth as a leader and competitor. 360 is for grades 10-12. FFA members learn ways to improve their chapters and growth of the organization.

Sub Districts is where we compete against people in different categories, and if we win we go into districts and then possibly the national convention.

Intense is a week long trip in the summer to different colleges each day. You stay the night in the dorm rooms and then you tour the college and learn about the classes and opportunities they have for you.

Ag Education Day happens in September. The chapter goes to SUNY Cobleskill to tour the different classes and do mock competitions. They even have different inventions they create and build there.

Camp Oswegatchie  is a leadership camp that happens in the winter and summer. This camp is to help build your chapter, help yourself grow as a leader, with many different activities. Galway got to go during the winter where we did a night walk without flashlights to learn about how our eyes adjust. No one was impressed by that because that morning we were told about the different animals that live there. Then the next day we did the same walk in the daylight and saw the difference. We also had four hours to build a shelter and fire. We had to keep the fire going until the four hours was up.

State convention is where you have sessions throughout the three days in May. When you aren’t in session, you are competing or doing volunteer work or going on tours to vets, greenhouses, fish houses or even different farms . There is also a private concert every year with famous country singers, which is so fun! Singers like Scotty McCreery and Chris Lane have been welcomed and sang before us FFA members. State convention is also the second biggest event for competing and touring different areas that FFA offers.

The biggest event is the national convention which is held in Indianapolis every year. Members from across all 50 states attend resulting in over 40,000 members attending.  There are major competition tours as well along with two concerts from famous country singers.

The special blue corduroy jackets members wear are very important to the organization. The jacket is an article of honor, faith and pride. The jacket reminds members there are part of something bigger than anyone could imagine. The jacket is an ongoing tradition. If you become a chapter officer your name and position is embroidered onto it. When you become a state officer the same thing is embroidered, but instead of your town name is on the back and it’s association. At competition you wear the jackets to represent your state and chapter.

You may have seen FFA doing different things like the hay bale eagle in the beginning of the school year as well as Ag Olympics, bake sales, food drives, the apple and strawberry fundraisers. Just recently we did a food drive for the Saratoga County Animal Shelter.

In FFA we strive to not only serve our chapter with leadership, but serve to give back to our community. We strive and encourage all members of FFA to achieve their goals and reach for the stars. No matter if your goal is small or large, it can always be accomplished. FFA members from all chapters are so supportive that it makes achieving your goals so much more positive. When you first join FFA people think it’s just another club, but when you go to a few events you really see how much FFA positively affects you. FFA is really a life-changing experience and can change your entire understanding on not only the big world of agriculture and careers, but as a person as well. It’ll also make you come out of your comfort zone and do things you never imagined doing. You might even run for an officer position or even compete against a bunch of other people. And you’ll meet people from other schools and states who will become your friends so quickly.

If you have been thinking about joining, just come to one of our meetings and see what FFA is really about. Everyone is absolutely welcome!  We are always looking for new members. And FFA is the largest youth organization in the country.