The future of agriculture is in good hands, if participants in FFA discussion contests are any indication.
The Independence FFA chapter invited me to moderate their district’s discussion meet last night, as the Wisconsin FFA speaking contest season got under way.
Being part of those events always is eye-opening, as it is for so many other people from many walks of life who volunteer to judge events. There, we see young people with fresh ideas and convictions about the agriculture industry.
A subject for the district discussion meet I attended involved how FFA members can connect non-farming students with agricultural career opportunities. Such a question is heavy in any form, and would seem an extremely heavy lift for youth aged 14-18 — but the young people in our discussion meet tackled the matter with a depth of insight and ideas.
The participants did a good job of having open and civil dialog about a challenging subject: that’s something too many adults aren’t able to do these days. The contest’s format and intent help create that environment, of course, but the tones used by the students told me they likely can handle such dialog in any forums.
What could be better for the agriculture industry’s future than having groups of teenagers discussing with passion the ways non-farming students can be connected to the industry?
The future, indeed, will be in good hands.