FFA plants seeds of leadership, service for Missouri students

1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago May 08, 2017 May 8, 2017 Monday, May 08 2017 Monday, May 08, 2017 2:25:00 PM CDT in News
By: Nora Faris, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - When 33 farm boys from around the U.S. gathered in Kansas  City in 1928 to form the Future Farmers of America, most of the horsepower in agriculture came from actual horses - not tractors. The only "apples" they knew were the ones that grew on trees, not the iPhones and MacBooks of today. GPS technology, genetically engineered crops and self-driving tractors weren't even seeds in the minds of inventors.

Fast forward to today: FFA now boasts more than 600,000 members nationwide, with more than 30,000 members in Missouri. The organization, an agricultural education and leadership development club for high school students, works to stay true to its agricultural roots. But in recent years, it's continued to branch out into STEM education, exposing students not just to fields of corn and soybeans, but to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, all of which enhance modern agriculture.

"Today, anything really corresponds to agriculture," said Ozark FFA member Codey Powell. "Marketing, science, technology, education, everything."

FFA students are also expected to maintain a Supervised Agricultural Experience program, a self-directed learning experience that can center on a research project, an agriculture-related job or a student's own business venture. 

In 2016, Missouri FFA members earned nearly $50 million through their SAE programs.

For her SAE project, Carrollton FFA member Allie Lock raises beef cattle, conducts scientific research on plant-based water filtration systems and works for a local radio station.

Lock said her agriscience research takes science concepts from the classroom and makes them applicable in real life.

"I've had physical science, biology and chemistry - traditional science classes," Lock said. "They were really informative, but they weren't that hands-on. With agriscience, it's actually you doing the science experimentation, you coming up with the project, you writing the research paper. You gain a lot of analytical thinking and you grow as a researcher."

Missouri FFA state officer Hunter Kay of Fredericktown said competing in FFA public speaking contests will give him an edge as he enters college and a career.

"Being able to speak in front of people, being able to communicate the words that I want to communicate well, it'll help me out a lot in a job," Kay said.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 60,000 new jobs in agriculture open in the U.S. each year. However, there are are only enough qualified graduates in agriculture degree programs to fill two-thirds of those jobs.

About half of those jobs are in management or business, and one-quarter are in STEM-related fields. Another 12 percent of job openings are in education, communication and governmental services.

Those are promising statistics for today's FFA members, since many of them plan on pursuing careers in agriculture, but not traditional farming.

"I would kind of like to work for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, going around to different countries, talking about ag policies with them," Lock said.

The National FFA Organization offers more than $2 million in scholarships annually to members pursuing higher education and career paths in agriculture and related fields.

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - A domestic dispute ended with gunshots Saturday night after the Jefferson City Police responded to a weapons... More >>
2 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 1:53:00 PM CDT in News
ST. JOESPH, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Western State University is closing the oldest residence hall on campus. The St.... More >>
3 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 12:48:00 PM CDT in News
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A northwestern Missouri boy with a rare genetic disorder has fulfilled his dream of being... More >>
3 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 12:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Strengthening and Conditioning Factory is hosting a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network on Sunday. The... More >>
9 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 6:11:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Four people made it out safely of a house on Rosemary Lane in Columbia Saturday morning after a... More >>
20 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 7:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to shots heard at the 800 block of Spencer Avenue on Saturday just before 5:00... More >>
22 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Cheerleaders rolled up their sleeves and got dirty while washing cars Saturday as athletes at Capitol City... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - A man was taken into custody and charged Friday night after leading authorities on a chase through the... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Members of the Central Missouri Radio Association are inviting mid-Missourians to participate in the National Amateur Radio Field... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Aspen Dental provided veterans with free services in mid-Missouri and across the U.S. Saturday for the Aspen Day... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some GOP state lawmakers want to give the Missouri attorney general authority to prosecute violations... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis judge has pushed back until Jan. 8 the retrial of a man accused... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:59:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis County police are investigating the case of a toddler who died after the vehicle... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:47:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are searching for a man now accused of killing a couple and another... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:42:00 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an initial 911 call Saturday morning reporting an airplane flying... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:43:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY— The Sam B. Cook Healthplex hosted the 5th Annual Sweatin' to Make a Difference on Saturday. The... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - An early Friday morning shooting has left one man with non-life-threatening injuries. Columbia Police officers responded to... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 10:26:00 AM CDT in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - When the justices take the bench Monday for their final week before a summer hiatus, they are... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 8:18:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
4pm 79°
5pm 78°
6pm 77°
7pm 75°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Track & Field
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
3:30p
The Legend of Zorro
6:00p
Road House
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Despicable Me
9:00p
Little Big Shots: Forever Young
6:00p
Road House
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld