The National FFA Organization is an intracurricular student organization founded in 1928 by a group of young farmers that seeks to promote agricultural education in the US and attract more people to that industry. The letters “FFA” stand for Future Farmers of America and it is committed to the individual student.
Despite it is focused on agriculture, it seeks to develop a leadership attitude in young people. For that reason, it also welcomes members interested in other careers such as teaching, medicine, sciences, entrepreneurship, and more.
The FFA offers a path to achieve premier leadership, personal growth, and professional success by fostering agricultural education. They work to prepare future generations “for the challenges of feeding a growing population” in a context of increasing difficulty in sustain and increase the workforce for this industry.
The agriculture industry supplied USD 1.05 trillion to the US GDP in 2017, which represents 5.4%. If these figures represented a country, it would make it the 16th largest economy in the world.
However, in the last years, this activity has been threatened by a changing workforce among other factors such as climate change and trade wars. Farmers and ranchers make up barely 1.3% of the employed population in the country, totaling 2.6 million and there are about 2 million operative farms.
These figures have not stopped falling since 1935 when there were almost 7 million farms and the agriculture industry made up 70% of the American workforce. The agricultural workforce’s shrink in the US responds to different causes such as the decline in the interest in the industry.
Most traders average 59.4 years old and when they retire, there are fewer young farmers to take their positions. Those under 35 only account for 9% of the total population because they have lost interest.
The lack of interest can be explained by high real estate and land prices, the high initial investment cost that agrotechnology requires, the volatility of the commodities’ prices, the unpredictable weather, the unequal work-life balance, and the important physical demand.
Finding farmworkers has become increasingly difficult for primary operators as corporate jobs are offering higher pay and home office options. This situation is leading to the loss of the American farmer’s competitive advantage to foreign countries and it has also resulted in wasted produce.
The FFA holds a holistic view of the human being that integrates professional life -encouraging agriculture as a smart career choice- with personal, social, and intellectual life and, at the same time, seeking to create value for the community.
They are committed to achieving this by developing competent and assertive leadership for agriculture and increasing the global relevance of this activity as well as its contribution to social well-being. They have a strong focus on strengthening both the self and professional confidence of students as well as promoting the agriculture career as a smart choice.
The FFA fosters agricultural programs that help students learn how to manage the community’s economic, environmental, and human resources. At the same time, they encourage them to build character and develop interpersonal and communicational skills in teamwork.
- Healthy lifestyles
FFA Mission Statement
The mission statement is: FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
Components of the mission:
Make a positive difference: The organization aims at changing its members’ lives for good.
In the lives of students: It addresses young people who are about to decide their professional future, the students.
Develop their potential for premier leadership: FFA seeks to develop each person’s potential and helps them discover their talent for leadership. Through hands-on experiences, it gives members the tools to achieve success in the real world.
Personal growth: The organization believes in integrating all aspects of the members: career, personal, social, and intellectual life.
Career success through agricultural education: The FFA fosters agricultural education to achieve professional success, relying on the agricultural industry as a path to achieve growth and success.
The vision statement is: FFA provides the next generation of leaders who will change the world.
Components of the vision statement:
Provide the next generation of leaders: It focuses on students to prepare them for the future challenges of the world.
People that will change the world: It promotes education and encourages young people to be the best in what they do to become future leaders and help improve the lives of their communities and the nation.
About FFA; available online at: https://www.ffa.org/about/
United States Department of Agriculture; Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy; posted at https://bit.ly/3gDJbq7
LEPLEY, Sara; 9 mind-blowing facts about the US farming industry; posted on 05/30/2019 at Markets Insider; available at: https://bit.ly/34Ecgzj
The U.S. Farm Labor Shortage; posted on 02/26/2020 at AG America; available at: https://bit.ly/2YDVj4b