It's National FFA Week!

Posted on Feb 17, 2014

When an even numbered year rolls around that can only mean one thing, The Olympic Games.  This event dates back to the eight century in Olympia, Greece.  The Olympics are a time for athletes with diverse backgrounds to gather in one location, competing against the best in the world. Starting off as an event for amateurs but has evolved into a sporting event where individuals and teams spend years preparing to compete. Over time, the games have faced a plethora of trials and tribulations and have experienced economic hardships, political battles, and even cancelling the games due to outbreaks of war.

 

Brian Chism is the current Kentucky FFA President.
Brian Chism is the current Kentucky FFA President.

Just as the Olympics have faced their troubles and obstacles, the FFA has done the same. Experiencing issues such as allowing African American men into the organization, allowing women to be apart of the organization and even a name change to better suit the organization.  Over many years, one thing has stayed the same which are the core values of the FFA and the Olympics.

Since its inception in 1928 by a group of young farm boys, the National FFA has continued to have the same purpose. The organization “is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.” This has been the case since the beginning, what those farm boys began has grown to include over 550,000 students from across the country. The diversity of the members is what ensures the organization progress forward. The FFA may have members that are called rednecks, farmers, city kids, band geeks, weirdoes, jocks, bookworms, emo kids, special needs, valedictorians and whatever else, but they are what strengthens the organization.

Just as Olympic athletes zip their jackets up, they are empowered to accomplish amazing feats when they go beyond all limits. FFA members do the same when they zip up their blue corduroy jackets; they are zipping up for success. By participating in Career Development Events, Supervised Agriculture Experiences, impromptu speaking, creed speaking, proficiency events and numerous other events, FFA members are reaching for success. There years in the organization are spent “training” with the hope of achieving a spot on the podium and receiving a gold medal, plaque, or trophy.

FFA members are able to take the skills learned and compete for the gold. Learning valuable business, speaking, communication, leadership and many other skills. However, there are times it may seem like the gold medal is never possible but with hard work and dedication it is. Take Chris Boardman for example an unlikely Olympic champ. Coming into the 1992 Olympic Games,  Boardman had no job and little hope but after receiving a new “super bike” he ended up on the podium receiving a gold medal.  Take Luke for example, a Kentucky FFA member who was diagnosed with diabetes in the eighth grade and now has made it big in Nashville as a country singer on Music City Road. Amanda, a member of a state winning parliamentary procedure team, days after convention doctors found a brain tumor. After receiving treatment doctors unfortunately found another one.  Amanda did not let this stop her from pursing her dreams, her spirits are high and she is back at Murray State University.  She is determined to defeat cancer and graduate with her bachelor’s degree.  Members determined to succeed and be on the podium to receive their medal!

National FFA Week is the time for members to stand proud and showcase their medals. Show what they have participated in, show their growth, give back to the community and advocate for agriculture and FFA. No matter their story, their interest, their backgrounds, FFA is their ticket to a gold medal success.

Brian a Meade County native currently serves at the Kentucky FFA Association President. His SAE in FFA included, agriculture communications, agriculture sales and swine entrepreneurship. Chism is currently a sophomore at Western Kentucky University where he majors in Agriculture with a Business Administration Minor.

Tagged Post Topics Include: Brian Chism, Career Development Events, Chris Boardman, Kentucky FFA, Nashville, National FFA, National FFA Week, Olympics, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Supervised Agricultural Experiences, Western Kentucky University