Sussex Gardener: “FFA (Future Farmers of America) Week”


This week, February 19 through 26, 2011, FFA members in Delaware and across the nation will celebrate National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Week.

FFA is a national organization of 523,309 members and 7,487 chapters from all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA makes agriculture real for all students enrolled in related programs of study. It is a diverse organization that draws its members from rural, urban and suburban schools.

This year, the theme for National FFA Week is “Infinite Potential” and it embodies all the best about FFA members, from the most recognizable symbol of the organization, the blue corduroy jacket, a symbol of pride and tradition, to the bright future of agriculture and the traditions of leadership and hard work. More than five hundred thousand members around this great nation will participate in National FFA week. FFA members reflect the cultural, ethnic, and gender diversity of America. FFA members:
Range in age from 12 to 21 years.

Are hard working individuals of good character.
Are enthusiastic leaders of tomorrow.
Promote citizenship, civic partnership and American values.

Hold themselves to a higher standard and exhibit a naturally enthusiastic and spirited approach to life and all it has to offer.

Are confident in their ability to make decisions and understand that they are responsible for their own destiny.

Have self respect and are respectful of all living things.
FFA members can look forward to unlimited success in life when choosing from the more than 300 careers in agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource industries. Current FFA members are future chemists, veterinarians, politicians, farmers, entrepreneurs, journalists, business leaders, ranchers and teachers. The following are some interesting membership statistics:
42% of FFA members are female; women hold more than 47% state leadership positions.

89% of FFA members are in grades 9-12, 7% are in grades 7-8 and 4% are high school graduates.
69% of FFA members live in rural/farm areas, 10% live in urban and suburban areas and 20% live in small towns.

FFA chapters are in 16 of the 20 largest U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

The 2010 National FFA Convention was host to more than 54,000 FFA members, advisors and supporters.
The personal growth and leadership skills that are developed through FFA and agricultural education serve a student well throughout life; even if they do not choose an Agriculture related career.

De has a FFA Alumni Association for former FFA members and/or residents who would like to support DE FFA Vocational Agriculture students. The FFA relies on alumni members for student recruiting, scholarship, money, aiding in conferences, state and national FFA conventions and other personal development programs. Our next meeting will be held on Monday, May 2, 2011 at Delaware State University Washington Extension Center from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

On March 30 and 31, 2011, the Delaware Association will hold its state convention at the University of Delaware’s Clayton Hall in Newark. At the convention, we will announce the 2011- 2012 Delaware State Officers and say goodbye to the 2010-2011 State Officer Team. Current Officers are: Amber Bullock, President; Lauren Voss, Vice President; Lauren Nickerson, Secretary, Maryann Artebridge, Treasurer; Michael Cannon, Reporter; Dr. Karen Hutchinson, State Advisor; and Stacey Hofmann, State Executive Secretary.

Service is an important part of the FFA. Through serving others, FFA members learn the importance of hard work, the rewards of a job well done, and the satisfaction of helping others. Through agricultural education and FFA, young people have truly “Infinite Potential.”