The FFA motto goes like this: “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”
What better way to put those words into action than having local FFA members partner with your county Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom programming?
“We involve high school students who are learning about agriculture, leadership and the importance of community involvement,” said Stacey Cary-Jenkins, Promotion & Education chair for Gratiot County Farm Bureau. “Through our event, the county Farm Bureau is another ‘teacher’ to the FFA students on the importance of learning and doing.
“We mentor them and, in turn, they mentor the younger students.”
Their event included high school agriscience students partnering with county Farm Bureau members to read American Farm Bureau Foundation’s book of the year, Shannon Anderson’s I LOVE Strawberries, and lead an activity from its Educator Resource Guide for second-grade classrooms across the county.
“It was fun reading and spreading knowledge to the second-graders about FFA and agriculture,” said Caden Passmore, a member of the Ashley FFA. “I answered their questions about agriculture and helped them understand how plants grow with a hands-on activity.”
As the school year wraps up and you start brainstorming how your county can connect with local schools next year, first reach out to your high school agriscience educator!
During the summer, FFA chapters are developing goals and tactics for the next school year — just like your county Farm Bureau does during its goal-setting process. Providing partnership ideas to agriscience educators, prior to goal-setting, is a great way to get on their schedule for the year.
When asked what advice she’d offer to county Farm Bureaus considering reaching out to their local FFA or 4-H members, Cary-Jenkins said, “Don’t just consider it — DO IT!”
“Remember: These are your future members. Once they get to know you and experience sharing their story with younger students, they’re ready to help with your next event!”
For more ideas and assistance in connecting with your local high school agriscience program, contact your MFB regional manager or me, Katie Eisenberger, your high school and collegiate programs specialist.