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Parents help FFA members celebrate National FFA Week, one missing clipboard at a time.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

February 22, 2016

4 Min Read

If you have an FFA member in your family, you already know that this week is kind of a big deal. It is the one week set aside to celebrate all things agriculture education.

Each year, FFA chapters around the country celebrate National FFA Week. According to the National FFA, the tradition began in 1947 when its board of directors designated the week of George Washington's birthday as National FFA Week to recognize his legacy as an agriculturist and farmer. The first National FFA Week was in 1948. Today, FFA Week always runs Saturday Feb. 20 to Saturday Feb. 27.

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As parents of FFA members, FFA Week is somewhat of a holiday week in your home. Children head off to school with a muddy truck or outfitted in their FFA official dress. However, the lasting effects of the FFA can be seen in parents all across the country if you look hard enough.

Here are the eight ways to know you are a parent of an FFA member:

1. You head to the paint counter and ask for national blue and corn gold. Admit it. Every parent has that one craft project that requires it.

2. Your smartphone no longer autocorrects FFA. It did not take long to stop correcting FFA to FAA or Fifa. You are a long time FFA parent when it corrects in all caps.

3. Your car glovebox has an extra pair of black pantyhose or an FFA tie. It is a sure give away your child is in agriculture when you open it during a traffic stop. Even better, when the officer recognizes it.

4. When a person starts a sentence "I believe," and you complete it with "in the future of agriculture"--aloud. Been there. Done that.

5. Your clipboards disappear in March. It never fails that the livestock , dairy, or soils contest team required clipboards. The barn clipboards used to track breeding dates work great. Never fear, they magically reappear in May.

6. Your SD card is full of FFA photos. You grab the camera to take some photos while on vacation only to find the SD card full--all FFA photos. No deleting those memories. Time to purchase another storage card.

7. Their SAE becomes your hobby. FFA advisors conveniently forget to explain that after students turn 21 parents may inherit an SAE or two. So help your FFA member choose a SAE wisely. It will be yours someday.

8. When you put the dates of the National FFA Convention, State FFA Convention and National FFA Week on the calendar, but forget your own anniversary. Not particularly proud of this, but it happens. 

Parents of FFA members are a rare breed. They truly believe in the organizations motto, "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."

Related: I blame the FFA for changes in rural youth

FFA parents are willing to sacrifice the little things--like SD cards--and even the big things--like anniversary dates--just to ensure that their children can reach their goals in the FFA.

As your child takes part in National FFA Week, take some time to celebrate as a parent. You are giving them an opportunity to realize their dreams in agriculture and the FFA.

FFA members, thank your parents this week because without them, you would be missing a clipboard.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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