Commissioner Weathers: National FFA Week
Every year in February, the agricultural family celebrates National FFA Week. Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers tells us more about FFA in South Carolina:
- FFA is premier leadership development youth organization with over 7,500 members from 110 chapters from across SC
- Students study agricultural curriculum from forestry and natural resources, agriculture mechanics, horticulture, animal science, biosystems technology and aquaculture just to name a few.
- Students take the classroom skills and put them to work in their Supervised Agriculture Experience, or SAE. SAEs allow students to apply their knowledge while learning the importance of good record keeping.
- South Carolina agricultural education is attracting more non-traditional students such as those from suburban areas. They may have no agricultural background, but they are finding their niche in agriculture classes.
- FFA Week has been celebrated during the week of George Washington’s Birthday since 1948
- During the week, members participate in leadership building activities like Ag Olympics, tractor parades and serving breakfast to the staff at their schools
- Last week, nearly 1000 FFA members from around the state descended on the state house grounds for Legislative Appreciation Day
- At Wade Hampton we had visits from Oconee County FFA Chapters and Kirby Players Ag Ed class from Clemson University
- Also, the FFA State Officers visited with me in my office for a while and they were able to ask questions regarding the future of agriculture
- It’s certainly an impressive site to see all the students in their “National Blue” corduroy jackets covering the steps of the State House. And once again this year, I had the honor of presenting the Governor’s Proclamation naming February 18-25 as FFA Week in South Carolina
- These visits are a great reminder to our legislators one of the key missions of the SCDA: create new opportunities for this industry in the future and to support the younger generation of farmers.