Many FFA events and activities have gone off without a hitch during this National FFA Week, although a few were impacted by weather and some closed schools. It is an important week to promote FFA to students and local communities. Ag teacher and FFA advisor at Western Boone, Travis Terharr says the week is helpful even in rural areas where you might think everyone already knows what modern day FFA is about.
“You would actually be surprised,” he said. “We’re a very rural school and one of the first things I do every year with my 8th graders when they come in is ask what they think FFA is. The answer I always get is it’s for people who want to be farmers, and we fight that stereotype a lot. Things like National FFA Week go a long way towards helping show that FFA is an organization that means a lot more than just farming. It’s for young people who are interested in being leaders in their school and their communities, and who truly have a passion for agriculture.”
“With our first activity we try to really show them to get outside of their comfort zones and to understand that we need to be willing to reach out and take different opportunities that we may not know will have a good outcome in the end. Things might be scary at first but that’s ok and opportunities may look scary, like joining a new contest, but in the end it’s really going to turn out for the better.”
This week Emily has especially enjoyed working with students who are not yet FFA members.
“At first, they’re a little confused at what I do because a lot of people think that a state officer means that you’re a police officer, and so they laugh at first. It takes them a little bit to get used to the activities that we’re doing, and the good thing about our curriculum is that we can always change it around to be directed towards those who aren’t members yet. So, while they are hesitant at first because they don’t really know who I am or what I do, they usually get into it at the end.”
Terharr, the Western Boone teacher, told HAT it’s more important now than ever before to have support for ag education and FFA in classrooms all over Indiana. Hear more from him in the HAT interview:WeBo-FFA-advisor-Travis-Terharr