Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Ffa Legacy

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Ffa Legacy

Article excerpt

They stood before me as I was signing books in my booth at the National FFA Convention this fall in Indianapolis. The man showed his age but was still holding up. "This is gonna be my last," he said.

I looked at him more attentively, "How long have you been teaching?" I asked.

"Thirty-eight years," he said. There was a touch of weariness in his voice. We looked out over the sea of blue coats that surged through the huge convention hall. His wife took our picture. "That's a long time to be married to an agricultural teacher." I told her, knowing the commitment a spouse must make to accommodate the late suppers, kid's projects, county fairs, field trips, night calls, weekend practices, long hours and exhaustion that are an accepted requisite of the job description.

She smiled and touched his elbow. "It was worth it," she said and they walked away.

The very next person extended her hand. She had a broad smile. If I had not seen her advisor button it would have been easy to mistake her for one of the older students. "Hi," she said. She was excited, "Would you sign my book?" "How long have you been teaching?" I asked.

"This is my first year, my first time as an advisor to come to the convention. I've been here three years before as a student. We've brought 23 kids, two in public speaking, a judging team..." she rattled on as I signed her book.

"Thanks," she said, shook my hand firmly and disappeared into the crowd.

A warm feeling slid down my back, I actually chuckled out loud.

I often have occasion in my travels to remind agricultural education teachers of the responsibility they bear. …

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