FFA offers multiple opportunities for MV students

Legendary program continues to lead in 2021-22


Julika Balzer, Staff

MV FFA is working hard to maintain its top position across the region, spearheading many recent activities, including the annual Alumni BBQ.

To get the scoop on this year’s FFA, FFA advisors and members offered some background information about themselves and their work.

For many students, FFA might be something they don’t fully realize the meaning.

“FFA is an organization started in 1928. It used to be called ‘Future Farmers of America.’ It has so many parts you can be involved in a wide variety now, ” said Mr. Steve Austin, FFA co-advisor.

Quinton Mullinax, ‘22, and FFA Sentinel, mentioned “FFA is more than just a school program.  It helps students gain life skills as well as a foothold in the agriculture community as a whole.”

“It helps you make connections and friends that become almost as close as family in the process,” Mullinax added.

After gaining knowledge about FFA itself, Ms. Cherie Rogier, FFA co-advisor, explained how FFA affected her.

“Personally, it is the reason I’m an agriculture teacher today.  It took a different turn on my career path,” she explained.

Mr. Austin shared his personal affection with FFA.

“Going to high school, I wasn’t the best. I had a teacher who invited me to FFA. He made sure I stayed on the right path. It was really good for me having an organization that kept me going,” Mr. Austin said.

“It has helped me gain skills I will use for the rest of my life, and helped me to find out more of who I was as a person as well,” mentioned Mullinax.

The future is something we have to think a lot about, so asking the FFA team about FFA’s future, Ms. Rogier said “I think there is a lot of potential for students in FFA.”

“We try to get out of the stereotype of being a farmer to be in FFA,” added Ms. Rogier.

Mullinax added “I see the future of FFA as prosperous and very beneficial. Being an extremely impressively-organized program, I foresee that it will always have a place in the school society.”

In an organization like this, community is one of the most important parts.

“I think we’re doing really well, especially with the pandemic,” Ms. Rogier said.

Mullinax added “We are however making great strides in still providing for a good experience overall for new and old members alike.”

Being a part of an organization with a great movement is one part. But the other is finding the right effort to join.

Mullinax mentioned his experience with joining FFA.

“I joined FFA to learn more about the agriculture community as a whole, as well as gain leadership skills for my life in the future,” Mullinax said.

Students need to achieve more skills each year. What do the teachers in FFA do to help students for the future?

“The teachers at Mount Vernon are, in my opinion, some of the best in the world. Not only do they get to know you as a student, they also get to know you as a person,” said Mullinax.

“They truly care about each and every individual that is a part of FFA, and help directly contribute to making it the family that it has become,”  Mullinax added .

Some organizations that offer the best work are too small to be seen.  Not MV FFA.

Mr. Austin said “I think we have a pretty good number involved. We probably have around 200 students enrolled in FFA each year.”

Ms. Rogier mentioned “Well, every student in an Agriculture class is an FFA [member].”

“Seventy-five percent of our students in one of our Agriculture classes participate in at least one FFA activity per semester,” added Ms. Rogier.

Organizations with such an important role need to continue. That also applies to FFA.

Ms. Rogier said “The national FFA organization is the largest student organization in our country. Through different competitions, FFA offers different experiences with different careers.”

“Again I think it includes students in a positive organization. It allows them to build community and involvement, and money goes toward scholarships for seniors involved in FFA” mentioned Mr. Austin.

“Signing in on one application and being in for scholarships with a FFA budget of $3,000,000 dollars,” Ms. Rogier added.

Mullinax said “FFA not only helps with individual growth and directly coincides with career success, but also contributes to the mentality of the members in it as well. Given both are extremely important in today’s society, this makes it a quintessential part of student facilitated success.”

It is amazing to consider that such a supporting and life-teaching organization exists, but who actually can join FFA?

Ms. Rogier said “Everyone who is in an Agriculture class.”

Mr. Austin mentioned “ They have to be enrolled in one of the classes from Ms. Rogier, Mr. Kabat, or me.”

Since FFA can make huge changes for students and even teachers, how is the school affected by FFA?

Mullinax said “FFA contributes to multiple community service activities around the school, and the community alike.”

“This not only helps the school, but students and staff alike within,” added Mullinax.

Ms. Rogier mentioned “I think that we provide a positive way to get involved.  Students like the different kinds of activities. We truly have something for everyone.”

To finish up the scoop of FFA, Mr. Austin added “We welcome everyone to be involved.”

Ms. Rogier added “There are over three hundred careers in Agriculture and only one of them is farming. That means ninety-nine percent of other careers. If you want a job, come to ag.”

“There are many many more things that could be said about FFA, and I could go on and on about how amazing my personal experience has been, but to fully understand it, you have to start your own FFA journey yourself,” added Mullinax.