This week was National FFA Week. As a former FFA Member it brings back so many memories. I was a very active member in my FFA Chapter in Parker, SD. I was a chapter officer and my senior year I was the President of the chapter. I was also a District Officer.

I participated in judging contests and leadership contests. I traveled  and made friends all over the state and nation. FFA taught me leadership, public speaking, about agriculture and so much more.

My adviser, Wes Steiner, always believed in me. He pushed me to participate in a ton of contests, especially the public speaking contests. He was a great mentor to me and one of my favorite teachers. It takes a very special person to deal with all of us teenagers. He was fair and encouraging. And I can say that being a part of FFA really did help me in my success in life.

Programs like FFA are truly necessary for kids. Obviously the premise of the program is to learn about aspects of Agriculture, but it teaches so much more as they offer contests and programs to develop leadership and a program that truly prepares you for after high school. It may even help you decide what you want to be when you grow up or help you with speaking in public or even job interviews.

I encourage all high school young adults to get involved in programs like FFA. What you will learn and get from it will be great! It was for me.

Mel in her FFA Jacket 1996