FFA and 4-H provide lifelong benefits
Both the National FFA Organization and 4-H foster and support the next generation of leaders. Parents looking for positive and valuable activities to help their children grow, should look into Wyoming FFA and 4-H programs. Both are excellent options and offer opportunities for youth to learn, grow and help build a better future.
A misconception about FFA and 4-H is these clubs are strictly for students who grew up on a farm or want to become farmers. While both programs provide opportunities for students to learn about agriculture, they also generate a platform to increase self esteem, build strong communication skills and learn resilience.
Both organizations build professional development skills and emphasize topics outside of normal school curriculums. Teachers working in schools incorporate FFA into their classes, while 4-H works through partnerships with schools and local Extension offices.
FFA students can compete in agricultural marketing or communications events to develop their leadership skills, and 4-H students competing in livestock showing, public speaking, service projects or shooting sports at local fairs develop problem-solving skills, enhance communication skills and the importance of responsibility.
The National FFA Organization is a program for students aged 12 to 21 interested in agriculture and leadership.
However, it is for more than just students who want to be production farmers. FFA also welcomes members who aspire careers in teaching, healthcare, business owners and more.
For this reason, the name of the organization was updated in 1988, reflecting growing diversity and new opportunities within the agricultural industry. Still, the organization remains committed to the individual, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
“The most important role for FFA members in this vision is to say yes to the opportunities and experiences FFA provides,” says Scott Stump, FFA chief executive officer.
FFA strives to support the next generation rising to meet challenges by developing unique talents and exploring interests in various agricultural career pathways.
“Just as agriculture has and continues to evolve, so must the opportunities within FFA,” says Stump. “From production to consumption, there are emerging careers like autonomous robotics and sustainability through which our students will shape the future and feed the world.”
“I am excited for the new opportunities we’ll be launching in the years ahead to make students aware of, and ready for, the future of agriculture,” he adds.
4‑H is America’s largest youth development organization and empowers youth with the skills to lead for a lifetime. 4‑H originated over 100 years ago, becoming the nation’s largest youth development organization.
4-H provides opportunities for youth to develop skills, real-world knowledge and wisdom through observation, problem-resolving and living through experiences.
According to the 4-H website, the concept of the program is simple – help young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy.
4-H students benefit from their 4-H experience throughout their lives socially, physically, emotionally and economically.
The 4-H Youth Development Program reaches over six million youth and is America’s largest youth organization.
Research studies from Bowling Green State University show 4-H youth are four times more likely to contribute to their community and two times more likely to be civically engaged, participate in out-of-school science programs and make healthier choices.
Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development Director Richard Lerner explains a five-year research study on 4-H students provides strong evidence youth strengths are aligned with the resources for healthy development in families, schools and communities.
Building future leaders
4-H and FFA does more than prepare youth for agriculture careers. They also teach leadership skills, instill a sense of service and put young Americans on the right path to a successful future.
Wyoming is proud of the difference FFA and 4-H members make in their backyards and across the state.
There are several differences between the two organizations. Still, both share a passion for supporting students by developing leadership, responsibility and public speaking skills, all while fostering fantastic opportunities for youth.
Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.