Governor, teacher talk about importance of FFA

Governor, teacher talk about importance of FFA

Originally posted by: Fremont Tribune

As an FFA adviser at Logan View Junior-Senior High School, Dan Mowinkel can tell you about the importance of the organization.

Mowinkel believes FFA promotes leadership, personal growth and career success in students.

FFA is an organization for middle and high school youth that supports agricultural education.

On Wednesday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts had a proclamation signing ceremony for “FFA Week” in Nebraska, celebrated nationally from Feb. 17-24.

Ricketts was joined FFA officials and members and Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

“FFA is helping raise up the next generation of Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers, and ag innovators,” Ricketts said. “Through FFA, students across Nebraska receive great agricultural education and training from this historic organization. FFA is developing the fresh thinkers and strong leaders our growing agriculture industry needs to innovate and move it forward in the 21st century.”

The Nebraska FFA Association was the sixth chartered by the National FFA Organization.

Nebraska has more than 8,500 FFA members in 185 chapters.

“FFA Week provides us an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our FFA members,” Wellman said. “FFA allows students an opportunity to grow as leaders while building their agricultural education, and, in turn, impacting their communities for the better.”

Originally known as “Future Farmers of America,” FFA started in 1928.

The organization has grown since then.

“You’ve still got the farm kids, but people are seeing the benefits of being able to get up and speak in front of groups.”

Mowinkel cites an example.

“I know our English teacher once said he could always tell the kids that were in FFA when they were giving speeches because they carried themselves so much more confidently,” Mowinkel said.

As an ag teacher, Mowinkel can see the benefits of the organization and the opportunities for scholarships and even employment and internships that it can provide for youth.

Mowinkel believes an employer at an ag-based company may want to look a little more closely at an applicant’s resume if that person was involved in FAA, especially if he or she earned a State or American degree.

He also noted a conversation he had with one of his former classmates, Scott Kurz, the physiology laboratory manager at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science.

When looking to hire young people as interns, Kurz told Mowinkel that he strives to find those who were more involved in school with groups such as FFA and band, which he attributes to their having a little better work ethic.

Nebraska State FFA Adviser Krystl Knabe also noted the value of FAA during the governor’s proclamation-signing ceremony.

“The agriculture industry is the driving force for Nebraska’s economy,” Knabe said. “Our state’s educational system has recognized the importance of agriculture. We have a record number of agricultural education programs in Nebraska high schools and record high FFA membership.

“We are thrilled that Governor Ricketts is recognizing the Nebraska FFA Association during National FFA Week as the organization continues to develop and prepare future leaders of our great state.”