Although Lebanon High School’s colors are black and gold, students within LHS also represent the colors of FFA (Future Farmers of America) – national blue and corn gold. FFA is a year-round club that is hosted by the Agriculture Department and students who wish to join must be in an agriculture class and pay the national dues at the beginning of the school year. Although FFA is a year-round club, the week of February 16th– 24this recognized as National FFA Week. Students in the high school, whether they are an FFA member or not, are encouraged to dress up according to the theme that FFA members advertise, participate in any activities hosted by the agriculture department and hopefully in the end decide to join FFA the following school year.
Mrs. Love, both an agriculture teacher and an FFA advisor, encourages students to join FFA because it gives students a lot of different opportunities.
“I would encourage students to join FFA because it gives them a lot of opportuinities to compete. From speeches, to judging, to demonstrations on a lot of different topics, they are able to find anything. They also get invited to a lot of different interesting events, such as National Convention or District kickoff,” said Love.
“Students do not have to be interested in pursuing agriculture as a career to be in FFA. Even though they need an agriculture class, most of the classes that we offer are not just about agriculture – Food Science for example teaches people a lot about what they need to know when cooking and/or eating certain foods,” said Love.
Senior Veronica Kassab has been actively participating in FFA since she was an eighth grader. When she moved to Lebanon, she was really nervous about finding a club that she would enjoy and fit in – FFA just so happened to be the answer to her worries.
“My favorite part about FFA would have to be all of the different assets that it offers. There is always something for everyone to do – and it is all different. It is a great way to meet new people if you are a freshman entering the high school, a senior that just moved here or anything in between,” said Kassab.
Students are eligible to join FFA their eighth-grade year if they take the ‘Introduction to Agriculture’ class while in middle school, but the club can be joined anytime throughout high school as long as they are currently in an agriculture class.
Freshmen Lily Gascho joined FFA in eighth grade because she wanted to make new friends and get outside of her comfort zone.
“I’ve competed in Parliamentary Procedure before, Parli for short, and I enjoy it because I get to have fun with my friends. Parli is basically a mock meeting that we perform in front of different judges and get awards for. As a freshman, you compete on the Novice team to get started and after your freshmen year you compete on the senior team,” said Gascho.
According to Mrs. Love, FFA has multiple different activities members can compete in – from judging livestock/plants/dairy, presenting projects, memorizing the FFA Creed, competing on the Parli team or giving an impromptu speech in front of a panel of judges, students will be guaranteed something to keep them interested.
A part of FFA is the official dress – although a jacket is not required, they do pull the entire outfit together. For females, the official dress is a black knee-length dress skirt, black panty hose, black dress shoes, a white button up shirt, the official FFA jacket, and the official FFA scarf. For males, the official dress is black dress pants, black dress socks, black dress shoes, a white button up shirt, an official FFA jacket, and an official FFA tie.
Sophomore Vance Whitesell has been in FFA since he was an eighth-grader and he enjoys being in the club because he is able to meet new people and get outside of his comfort zone.
“I have competed in livestock judging, Parli and foods judging. I have always been interested in agriculture and FFA seemed like the perfect fit for what I was looking for,” said Whitesell.
Kassab has participated in different types of competitions through her high school career as an FFA member and she has enjoyed everything that she has competed.
“I used to be a member of the Parli team, in eighth grade I did livestock judging and now I do soils judging and floriculture,” said Kassab.
According to FFA.org, the organization is, “… committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”
FFA is a great organization to get involved in whether you have a passion for agriculture or not. If you have any interest in the organization at all, be sure to talk to your guidance counselor about taking an agriculture class next year so you have the opportunity to join and become a member. Anyone and everyone is welcome and invited to join!
“Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”