East View FFA prepares students for life
Today’s National FFA Organization members aren’t only future farmers. They’re future scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, veterinarians, and leaders in the community. They’re young men and women.
Jackie Doss, East View High School’s FFA president, puts it like this: “You experience things that are bigger and outside of your school. We learn things that will carry you through life, like community service, self-confidence, and speaking up for yourself.”
Originally called Future Farmers of America, the organization began in 1928, during a time when many sons of farmers were slowly becoming disenchanted with the family business. The organization sought to give boys opportunities to learn leadership and, in turn, to be proud of their heritage.
Today, the National FFA Organization has members in high schools throughout the United States. Members discover, through learning, leadership, and personal growth, who they want to be. The organization gives students a leg up, preparing them for careers in many aspects of the agriculture industry.
Lauren Hairston, East View’s Animal Science teacher, is one of the chapter’s FFA advisors. “Just as in sports,” she explains, “we have FFA competitions where students advance to the state and national levels—competitions such as prepared speaking, skills demonstrations, veterinary tech skills, and livestock judging.” Jackie adds, “Our competitions are at colleges. You’re not only learning what you want to do, but you’re visiting a college that actually teaches those things.”
East View’s young FFA chapter began in 2012, with fundraisers, campus projects, and community involvement. Members’ goal is to raise money to build their own barn for supplemental learning and student projects. For now, Georgetown High School shares what space is available in its barn.
“One of the stereotypes we’re trying to overcome is that you do not have to be raising animals to be in FFA. A lot of FFA is about leadership, public speaking, and agriculture-related skills. Come to a meeting and see,” Lauren says.
For more information, please email Lauren Hairston. East View FFA meetings are held in the Ag room, at 4:30 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month.
Did You Know?
In 1935, the New Farmers of America was born. This organization, formed in Tuskegee, Alabama, sought to interest African-American boys in agriculture. At that time, the NFA emblem was identical to that of the Future Farmers of America, except that it featured a cotton boll in place of an ear of corn. In 1965, the two groups merged to become simply the Future Farmers of America.
In 1969, girls were allowed to officially join the FFA. Currently, girls comprise more than 45 percent of FFA membership.