Today is the last day of what, for me at least, has been a jam-packed, fun-filled month full of FFA. I’m sure that a lot of you had a blast celebrating National FFA Week last week. I want to give a warm shout-out and thank you to the chapters that hosted me—I had a blast getting to see the cool things that FFA members across our state are accomplishing. You are all truly inspiring!
During FFA Week, we do an awesome job of telling the story of FFA and agricultural education. It was so impressive to see the way that different schools go about celebrating the successes of our Organization and local chapters. There are posters all over the school, tractors in the parking lot, daily ‘Ag Trivia’ on the school announcements, and the occasional student walking proudly down the hall in their Official Dress. It’s hard not to notice FFA chapters during FFA Week.
FFA members, and those in agriculture, face some pretty hefty challenges. We’re faced with feeding an increasing population (9 billion by 2050, to be exact) with even fewer resources than before. Agriculture is facing opposition from all sides—whether it’s from so-called animal welfare groups, fast food chains that I’m choosing not to name, or uninformed consumers who do not understand how cattle standing in a feedlot become the burger sitting on their plate. As agriculturists, we are facing an uphill battle.
Again, we do an AWESOME job of telling our story during FFA Week. But, there are 51 other weeks in the year. Why don’t we focus on telling our story every week, instead of just the week that’s been designated? There are great things happening in our agricultural education classrooms and FFA Chapters all year round. On our farms, we are accomplishing things that our ancestors could not have even imagined. Did you know that today’s farmers produce 262% more food with 2% fewer inputs than farmers in 1950 did? Or that 97% of American farms are family owned?
The average American is at least two generations removed from the family farm—making it more important than ever that we inform our consumers about where their food is coming from. We have a great story to share, we just need to do it. Blogs, posters, inviting people to our farms, striking up a conversation with the person next to us in the produce section—all easy opportunities to share the story of American agriculture and the National FFA Organization. I’m just as guilty of not taking the time to do it. But, if we don’t tell our story, someone else will tell it for us.
Kansas FFA, make every week FFA Week!