Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Investing in Your Youth

The spring was always my favorite semester in high school. Stock shows, FFA judging contests and 4-H projects filled my afternoons and weekends. It also probably didn’t hurt that I knew that each passing day meant that summer break was one day closer.

In thinking back over my experiences through FFA & 4-H, I want to thank everyone that has ever helped support these organizations. Whether it was a donation of your time or assisting financially, it would not have been possible to do as much without your help.

There are some states, such as Ohio, that are beginning to phase out 4-H due to lack of funds. The non-profit program was established in 1902 and has the mission to empower youth to reach their full potential by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. The pledge that is said at ever meeting is, “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world. They have the motto of “To make the best better”.

The FFA program “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”.

FFA’s motto is “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve”.

These organizations are near and dear to my heart and it is sad to see a 4-H club closed down due to lack of funds or an agriculture program closed at a school (students must be enrolled in an AG class to be an FFA member). I have seen multiple students gain knowledge and skills that they have used throughout their lives as a result of these programs.

As a result of being a member of both 4-H and FFA, I have a coffee table I built, a prom dress, two quilts, 10 state contest certificates, the ability to cook, nearly all my college tuition paid for with agriculture scholarships and I have the confidence to stand up and lecture to a class of 100 plus students at Texas Tech.

January 22 is the county stock show where both FFA and 4-H students will be exhibiting their animals that they have been working with since August. I highly encourage everyone to go watch the show, buy a ticket to the BBQ dinner and stick around for the premium sale. For those who are there year after year, THANK YOU for all you do! Other ways to help the FFA and 4-H clubs include donating your skills, materials, time and donations are always appreciated as well.

Have a blessed week!

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