By Cain Thurmond, Southern Region Vice President
Each year, FFA members recite the FFA Creed while competing in a career development event; others, to receive their chapter degree while many live by these five paragraphs daily. The Creed is the cornerstone of the beliefs we possess as members of this organization, but how often do we stop and reflect on its words? The second paragraph of the FFA Creed includes a line, “…for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.”
Over the past month, I have spent time with FFA members who possess an inborn fondness for FFA and agriculture. Webster defines the word “inborn” as “existing from birth” and “fondness” as “having an affection or liking for.” We were wired, as human beings, to possess an inborn fondness for agriculture. Because of what our organization stands for, we have developed this same attachment to and affection for the National FFA Organization.
While attending the Nevada State Convention, members received a fortune cookie before each session; inside was an ag fact. For example, one fortune said, “The average dairy cow begins to give milk at 2 years old and produces over 70 pounds daily.” Following opening ceremonies, an ag fact was drawn from a bag on stage; any member who had that particular ag fact in their fortune cookie was entered into a drawing to win a prize. By the end of the week more than 35 ag facts were opened and our fondness of Nevada agricultural commodities was increased.
On March 22, I joined more than 50 Nevada FFA members at a local arboretum for a service project that contributed more than 250 hours of service. We pruned plants, collected leaves and increased the overall appearance of the facility. In the early morning hours, the largest news crew in the Reno area caught word of the project and sent a crew to the arboretum to check out the difference that was being made. That night, while watching the nightly news, thousands of citizens caught a glimpse of the inborn fondness FFA members retain for making a positive difference in their community.
These are just a few of the countless stories that are told daily that reflect our inborn fondness being shown outward. Along the way, we will encounter joys and discomfort with agricultural life, but we must always remember the importance of the difference we make. FFA members, I BELIEVE in our ability to help the world develop this “inborn fondness” for agriculture.