February 18th – 25th Is National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Week

The FFA – or Future Farmers of America – is a National organization that envisions a future world in which all agricultural students will “discover their passion in life and build on that insight to chart the course for their educations, career and personal future.”

Founded by a group of young farmers in 1928, the Future Farmers of America joined together the forces of students, teachers, and members of agribusiness and set forth a mission to “to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population” through teachings that agriculture is more than just planting and harvesting – it’s a business, a science, and an art.

It was during a National Future Farmers of America Board of Directors meeting in 1974 that the week of George Washington’s birthday was decided upon to be National FFA Week. Since then, National FFA Week has occurred every year from the Saturday to Saturday encompassing Washington’s February 22nd birthday.

During FFA Week, members are given a chance to educate the public about agriculture. Various chapters of the organization volunteer for community service projects, give public speeches about agriculture, conduct “Ag Olympics” and host teacher appreciation breakfasts.

Since its inception, the FFA organization has existed to support the next generation of farmers by helping them explore their individual interests and develop unique skills covering a broad range of agricultural careers.

If you think about it, the FFA is not only creating Future Farmers of America, but also Future Biologists, Chemists, Engineers, Veterinarians, and even Future Entrepreneurs of America, too.

Side Note: In 1988 the official name of the FFA organization was changed from “Future Farmers of America” to “The National FFA Organization” to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture.

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The FFA Creed

I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.

I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.

I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so–for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.

I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.

The FFA organization is funded through private donations and sponsorships at the local, state, and national level. No matter how big or small, each and every contribution makes a difference to the FFA students and teachers across the nation.

There are several ways you can donate to FFA, and you can even designate whether you would like your donation to go towards the organization’s activities, programs, resources, or scholarships.

– Donate Online. Make a monetary donation to the National FFA Foundation through our secure server. You can make a one-time donation, or set up a monthly pledge plan.

– Corporate Sponsorship. Your business or corporation can sponsor FFA programs, events, scholarships and more.

– Matching Gifts. Contact your employer’s Human Resources department to find out if they will match your contribution to the National FFA Foundation.

– Memorials and Tributes. Honor someone special in your life with a gift to the National FFA Foundation.

– Endowments. Establish an FFA endowment with a minimum contribution of $20,000. You can name the endowment and designate how the money should be used.

– Securities. A gift of appreciated stock eliminates any capital gains tax and allows you to claim an income-tax deduction based on the full market value of long term securities regardless of their original cost.

– Real Estate. Donate a house, vacation home, farm, ranch, or any other dwelling, commercial property, or undeveloped land you no longer wish to own.

– Estate Planning and Bequests. Contribute to the National FFA Foundation by including FFA in your will or estate plan.
– Planned Giving. There is an array of planned giving options available through the National FFA Foundation. Giving options provide exceptional planning strategies and flexibility and may minimize tax implications.

Find out more about how you can contribute to Future Farmers of America during National FFA Week at: www.ffa.org/Donate/Foundation/Pages/WaysToGive.aspx#

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