5 Amazing Opportunities FFA has Offered Me

5 Amazing Opportunities FFA has Offered Me

Herman Roberts, Preston FFA

From my Freshmen year until now, I have been a member of the National FFA Organization. I cannot begin to express the amount of gratitude I have towards this program and the various opportunities I have received from my participation. These are just a few things I’ve come to love out of the endless list of opportunities the FFA has to offer.

1. Academic Competitions

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One of the keystones of the FFA, and what I believe is one of the most exciting and enjoyable parts, are the competitions. Otherwise known as CDE’s and LDE’s, these contests offer members a fun way to prove what they know about specific items in agriculture. My Freshmen year, I remember memorizing the FFA creed and presenting it at the state level. Into my Sophomore year, I remember the extreme happiness when my Soil and Land Judging team finally won the state championship. From Food Science to Dairy Judging to Parliamentary Procedure, I’ve gained so many life skills from these experiences that I can utilize after high school, including: public speaking, communication, decision-making, teamwork, etc. These events are truly one of the reasons why I have such a passion for the FFA organization.

2. Strong Friendships

My favorite part of the FFA program is the chance to meet new people! I have made so many close friendships with other students my age from across the entire state. From Troy to Jerome to Madison, I can’t believe the amount of people I’ve been able to meet and form a personal connection with. Honestly, I love meeting other members and finding common interests, whether that be FFA related or not. District Officer Training was probably the best trip I’ve been on this year so far! I had the opportunity to meet other district officers from the various districts across Idaho. It was great to see the transition of the members from absolute strangers to close friends. It’s the best feeling watching other people get to know each other. If any of you see me at State Leadership Conference, Moscow State CDE’s, or anywhere else, feel free to come up and talk to me!

3. Travel

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The travel opportunities that come out of FFA are limitless. I’ve spent time in California, Indiana, and Oklahoma and visited major cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, and Dallas. I am so thankful for the places I’ve been able to visit and all the new experiences I’ve gained and new things I’ve learned along the way. The agricultural industry is so broad and diverse, and it’s awesome to see how it varies from place to place. One of my favorite trips is going to the annual National FFA Convention and Expo. Once you’re able to walk past thousands of other blue jackets, it really puts things into a different perspective. I’ve realized that the organization is bigger than myself, but that it doesn’t mean I can’t make an impact.

4. Direct Connection to Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the largest and most important industries in the nation. The fact that the FFA offers high school kids the chance to be connected to it is incredible. Kids are taught that ag isn’t just farming. Ag is business, it’s biotechnology, it’s engineering. There is a place for everyone in the industry, and FFA members are able to successfully pursue a career with the information they’ve learned and the skills they’ve gained from their membership. I’ve grown up on a dairy farm and through my firsthand experience of being a farmer, I can say I have grown to appreciate agriculture, and through FFA, I’m proud to represent it.

5. Personal Development

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Finally, I cannot begin to say how much the National FFA Organization has impacted me on a personal level. I have changed so much from the person I was when I started high school to the person I am today, and that’s all thanks to the FFA. Through officer positions and being involved at a chapter, district, and state level, I’ve become a better version of myself. I’ve gained confidence, social skills, a willingness to try new things, and a sense of belonging. Ultimately, the FFA gave me my purpose.

FFA is the best thing that’s come into my life. I’m extremely grateful for this extraordinary organization and I don’t know where I would be without it. I’m pumped to continue being involved in the Idaho FFA Association in my last year of high school.

Herman, thank you for sharing five of our favorite parts of FFA! You are a true example of leadership and we are proud to say you are a part of the Idaho FFA Association!

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FFA's Impact on Me

FFA’s Impact On Me

Cassie Moody, Middleton FFA

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Hi everybody! My name is Cassie and I am a sophomore at Middleton High School. FFA has impacted me in so many different ways, but President Trump said it best while speaking at the 2018 National FFA Convention. “Your time in the FFA, in the field, on the farm, on the land and in the classroom has not only prepared you for a stellar, great career in something you love, it’s taught you essential truths about life and about the world in which we live. You know that success only comes through hard work and perseverance.”  To sum it up, FFA has helped me to find my passion for agriculture and leadership, given me so much more confidence in myself, and introduced me to some of by best friends and mentors.

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First of all, FFA has truly helped me to find what I want to do in my life. Before joining FFA, I wasn’t sure what profession or field I wanted to go into. However, after a month of being in FFA I realized that whatever I do in life, it has to be connected to agriculture. I am so passionate about advocating for agriculture and being a leader in the agricultural community and I never would have realized that if it wasn’t for this organization.

In addition to finding my passion for agriculture, FFA has helped me to find my passion for leadership. I had been in a few leadership positions before in 4-H, but I have learned so much about what it truly means to be a leader in FFA. Being able to serve on my chapter and district officer teams has been such a blessing. However, the best part of it all is being able to connect with other members and watch them grow and succeed!

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Next, FFA has given me so much more confidence in myself. I’ll never forget when two of the older members in my chapter and my advisor told me to join the Ag sales team. The whole time they were talking to me all I could think was that I had no clue how to sell anything,  I don’t even know what this CDE is, and this is WAY out of my comfort zone. Luckily, I had an awesome team to teach me and push me to be my best. After a lot of hard work, and a lot of practice on my sales presentation (shoutout to my parents for listening to that 10,000 times) we won the district and state competition! This experience turned out to be super rewarding and gave me so much more confidence in my skills and abilities. It also taught me that when you work hard, apply yourself, and surround yourself with awesome people, anything is possible.

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Finally, FFA has introduced me to some of my best friends and mentors. Who knew that by joining the Conduct of Chapter Meetings team I would gain some of my best friends! Or that by being a district officer I would not only gain five teammates and friends, but so many others through those five people. And lastly, that I would meet awesome people that I get to look up to and get some pretty stellar advice from. This really is the best part of FFA. Gaining friends who believe in you and are always there for you. By being in FFA, you truly do have 653,359 friends that you can count on. Never forget that the Blue Jacket connects us all!

So, the moral of the story is to get involved! FFA has so much to offer you. Find some awesome people, join a CDE team, or just take one step out of your comfort zone. You never know where that one step will take you!

Cassie, we are so proud of you and all the growth you have experienced in the Idaho FFA Association. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for you in our organization!


Getting out of the Comfort Zone

Getting out of the Comfort Zone

Shalani Wilcox, Madison FFA

I remember standing on the stage, looking out into the sea of blue corduroy jackets. My sister lied. She told me that I wouldn’t be able to see anyone because the lights were so bright. But no; I could see EVERYONE!

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Let me explain the background of my situation. The year previous of this event, my sister was elected as the 2009-2010 Idaho State FFA Treasurer. Like all state officers, she had prepared a retiring address to give at the State Leadership Conference in April. She asked that my other older sister, one of my older brothers, as well as myself introduce her for this speech. My nine-year-old self was terrified. But I put my brave face on, walked on that stage as only a determined nine-year-old could do, jumped up on my designated step stool, and I read my part of the introduction in front of the entire Idaho State FFA Convention. All the while I proudly sported my “FFA: Future Member in Training” t-shirt.

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From this experience I learned a couple things. One: from that moment I knew I wanted to be a member of the FFA. Being on the stage was just as exhilarating as it was frightening, and I loved how enthusiastic the atmosphere was at the convention. And two: when we step outside of our comfort zones, we can experience life to the fullest. Too often, we find ourselves “playing it safe,” unwilling to try new things for the fear of failure. But outside our comfort zone is where we grow into better leaders and great people. Outside of the comfort zone is where we make lifelong friends and gain experiences that are worth telling about in the future.

               For some, getting out of the comfort zone may be reciting the FFA Creed in front of their peers. Maybe it’s running for a District Officer position or being the first one to talk to that new student that just moved in. Whatever the case may be, it is necessary to go beyond our comfort zone. At the time it may seem to be impossible and scary; but looking back, those are always the times we have the greatest memories of. All it takes is one small step out of our comfort zone to make a big impact in our lives.

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               In my case, I didn’t realize just how much that experience as a nine-year-old meant to me until much later down the road. In my mind, this event doesn’t seem as though it happened all that too long ago. However, now I’m on the last leg of my FFA career as a senior in high school. Although it makes me extremely sad to be almost done with my FFA career, I am grateful for everything I’ve learned during my years as a member. FFA has pushed me to become a more outgoing individual, I’ve gained career experience from the many CDE’s and SAE’s I’ve been a part of, I’ve had countless leadership opportunities, and I have some of my best memories from FFA activities. None of this would have been possible had I not gone outside my comfort zone.

               Don’t let your comfort zone restrict you from reaching your true potential. Comfort zones are only there to show us how we can better ourselves. Take a step out of your comfort zone and live your best life!  


Shalani, thank you for helping us learn about stepping out of our comfort zones! We are glad that we have a brave and bold person like you to be a part of the Idaho FFA Association.