It’s National FFA Week, and I firmly believe my four years spent competing in the iconic corduroy jacket were critical in developing the strengths and skills needed to pursue any career in agriculture I desired.
From job interviews to public speaking to extemporaneous speaking contests to livestock judging, food science and nursery landscape — these career development events were challenging and rewarding. To this day, I rely on the things I learned in these events, ranging from creating a solid resume to selecting the best foliages to plant in my front yard, just to name a few.
On top of these contests, attending FFA leadership camps and serving as a district FFA officer allowed me to grow as a person, build lasting friendships, meet industry leaders and explore new areas of agriculture that I hadn’t learned about growing up on a cow-calf operation.
While my time in FFA may be long over, it’s been fun to watch our oldest daughter, Scarlett, participate in the FFA Week dress-up days that are hosted by her school’s FFA chapter. In another 10 years, Scarlett will hopefully be putting on the corduroy jacket for the first time, and I look forward to the family tradition continuing with our children.
It’s always amazing to see strong industry support for this organization. Once again, Culver’s is celebrating FFA Week with $15,000 in scholarships. For the fifth year in a row, the burger chain is hosting an FFA essay contest.
Three essay writers will be chosen to receive $7,500, $5,000 or $2,500 for their FFA chapters. The essay contest is an opportunity for students to show their knowledge of—and passion for—the agricultural industry.
This year, contestants are being asked to respond to this:
The average age of a farmer is 58. Why is it important for more young people to get involved with agriculture? Why should they be excited to join the agricultural industry?
FFA members are encouraged to submit essays of 1,000 words or less at Culvers.com/essaycontest until April 8, 2019, at 5 p.m. CT.
FFA chapters can use the awarded funds for agricultural education initiatives and projects or to attend the National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Oct. 30–Nov. 2, 2019.
“We know how important it is to get young people involved in agriculture—they’re our country’s future,” said Jessie Kreke, Culver’s senior marketing manager. “This essay contest is our way to both show FFA members that we support them and to hear about their passions and hopes for the future.”
Culver’s essay contest is part of the restaurant’s Thank You Farmers project, which is focused on making sure we have enough wholesome food to serve our growing population by supporting agricultural education programs that encourage smart farming. To date, the Thank You Farmers project has raised over $2 million in support of the National FFA Organization and Foundation, local FFA chapters and a variety of local agricultural organizations. Learn how last year’s essay contest winners used their winning funds.
For more information, visit www.culvers.com.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.