From driving tractors to school to showcasing the production of food, ag students across Nebraska are wrapping up their celebration of FFA Week.
For 85 years, the group has taught the importance of agriculture to young men and women. Nebraska has 6,600 members in schools across the state.
Kurt Veldhuizen, a regional FFA spokesman and instructor, says some rural kids want to farm when they grow up, but many others haven’t figured out what they want to do yet.
“I have several members who might not be looking 100% towards agriculture,” Veldhuizen says. “They might be looking at health services or something like that, but they see the benefits of the leadership skills.”
The group changed its name from Future Farmers of America to FFA in 1998 to reflect the diverse scope of the agriculture industry. Veldhuizen says he’s confident agriculture will remain one of the top industries for the state and nation, currently employing more than 24-million people.
He says the program really allows young people to blossom when they stay through all four years of high school.
“As an instructor, that’s my greatest joy, when members graduate and I can look at them and recall what they were like as freshmen and how much they’ve grown,” Veldhuizen says. “Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they are going to enter in because they are going to make a difference in the world and be good, positive leaders.”
There are more than 130 FFA chapters in Nebraska. More than half of the 254 schools in Nebraska have agriculture education and FFA. Nationwide, there are more than 500,000 FFA members in 7,400 chapters in all 50 states.
Learn more at: www.ffa.org