Using FFA week to share our story

In my exceptionally rural school district, where the absence of grocery stores, gas stations, stop lights, and restaurants is the norm, it surprised me how many residents were uninformed about the agriculture industry. As an agriculture teacher, I realized that I had been sharing my story primarily within my agriculture circle, neglecting to promote the remarkable achievements of my students to those unfamiliar with our program.

FFA Week stands as a distinctive opportunity for us to expand our story beyond the confines of our agriculture community and reach individuals who may not be familiar with the FFA organization or the agriculture industry.

Here are some ways our members involved other individuals in the school and community in the excitement of FFA Week:

  1. Themed Days: Our officers created themed days, such as 'Merica Monday’ (red, white, and blue), 'Timber Tuesday’ (flannels/country), 'Working Wednesday’ (future career), 'Camo Thursday,' and 'FFA Friday’ (show off your FFA gear). These themes were displayed on posters throughout the school to encourage students k-12 to participate in FFA Week.

  2. Kahoot Trivia: During high school lunch, our officers organized Kahoot trivia games focused on FFA history, FFA week, our local FFA chapter or the agriculture industry. Projected on a large screen in the cafeteria (also our auditorium), students were invited to join using their personal devices. With numerous free Kahoot options available, including customizable quizzes, it's a fun and engaging way to spread awareness. It is recommended to change the settings to include nickname generator to avoid inappropriate names.

  3. Minute to Win-It Games: During elementary and junior high lunches, officers conducted minute-to-win-it games with students in grades 5-8. Alongside these games, a year-in-review slideshow helped students understand what FFA is, contributing to successful recruitment efforts when they entered high school.

  4. Daily Ag Announcements: K-12 FFA Week announcements featured daily updates to highlight FFA at the local, state, and national levels, ensuring that the entire school community was informed about the diversity of FFA membership and how this unique organization has evolved over the years.

  5. Day of Service: Each year our chapter would complete a day-of-service in all of our agriculture education classes. From homemade dog treats for the animal shelter or tie-blankets for the local soup kitchen, students were living out the FFA motto - “Living to Serve”. Check out the Paying for the POA blog post to learn how Living to Serve Mini Grants can pay for these service projects.

  6. Ag Olympics: Early in my career, my FFA officers conducted an Ag Olympics for junior high students during FFA Week. This was another informal recruitment technique our chapter used (in addition to celebrating the agriculture industry) because it exposed junior high students to FFA and agriculture education before they were able to enroll in the program. Later in my career, we moved it to the day before Easter Break…stay tuned for this future blog post.

To further enhance student and community engagement, National FFA provides a wealth of ideas and resources on their website. Explore these resources to elevate the impact of your FFA Week initiatives in your school and community.

Don't miss out on the chance to tell your chapter’s FFA story and join in celebrating FFA Week this February!