|Updated: 6/07/2012 8:12 am
||Published: 6/07/2012 12:15 am
LITTLE ROCK, AR - It’s an organization that gives young people leadership opportunities to see the world, and it celebrates Arkansas’ largest industry: agriculture.
Right now, 13-hundred members of the Future Farmers of America just wrapped up their first night of this year’s state convention.
The students want you to know that FFA is about more than farming.
“While most people may think it’s cows, sows and plows, we’re all about premiere personal growth, leadership and career success through our agriculture education,” says AR State FFA President Victoria Maloch.
Maloch joined FFA in 8th grade. Her family has a long history with the group. Her father served as a national officer in the 70s, so she’s seen first hand how involvement can open up opportunitites.
“I am from Emerson, Arkansas, that is where I attend school, and it is a town of about 500, but being able to meet up with kids from all over the state is amazing,” she says.
To Maloch, FFA is about more than farming. It’s about learning how to speak in public. It’s about researching careers outside of farming. And, it’s about fighting hunger.
“We would host hunger banquets where the students would have to experience what it would feel like to be half of the world only receiving very little portions,” she says.
“You can have a lot of discussions on the way we do things, or should I buy local or should I buy from a commercial farm, or should I buy organic, but the fundamental premise is that we all need food,” says FFA CEO Dwight Armstrong.
Students compete to go to the national convention in Indianapolis. Then, if they become a national officer, they can defer college to travel the world.