Missouri's No. 1 industry is agriculture. One organization more than any other has given our state's youth the tools and encouragement they need to thrive in agriculture careers and beyond: The FFA.
During this week's National FFA Week, our area FFA chapters are joining in celebration with chapters across the nation.
Look for FFA members across the state to post photos of their experiences. The Missouri FFA has a "social media challenge" each day this week. Today's challenge is to share photos showcasing their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). These are FFA members' opportunities to learn and develop real-world skills outside of the classroom and beyond the school day.
Today in Jamestown, FFA is holding a Barnyard Day in which members bring their animals from their projects or farms, allowing students to feed and pet the animals. A barbecue is planned for Thursday.
FFA does much more than train youths to be farmers. It prepares its members to be leaders and instills a strong work ethic in them. It encourages personal growth and career success through agriculture education. It gives hands-on learning opportunities, giving its members the tools to achieve success in the real world.
As it says on its website, FFA members become chemists, veterinarians, government officials, entrepreneurs, bankers, international business leaders, teachers and premier professionals in many career fields.
We join our area FFA chapters in celebrating National FFA Week. If you see FFA members, congratulate them for their involvement and for their accomplishments in the organization. If you see adult FFA volunteers, thank them for playing a part in shaping these children's lives.