Days 3, 4, and 5 were all pretty unremarkable — we toured the Caterpillar Tractor Company and then came to the National FFA Convention, where I volunteered at two of the contests. The first day I was a proctor, and had to instruct students on how to take a vet science test. The second day I felt much more useful because I helped Dr. Rutherford administer a graphic design test where high schoolers had to use DreamWeaver to make the front page of a website. My DreamWeaver skills really came in handy when the students had trouble getting photos to load, or knowing how to print, or making their code work.
Coming to the National Convention, I guess I just assumed it would be a lot like 4-H. I was in 4-H for a long time, so it was easy to compare the two. But while there were some similarities, FFA definitely has its own personality and is very different from what I expected.
I think that FFA is so beneficial in teaching students who probably will never be farmers about how agriculture is life. Nothing is worse to me than when I tell someone my major and they say something like, “Oh, so you’re going to write about cows, then.” And this from students who go to Texas A&M, which has such a huge agricultural presence. As the saying goes, agriculture is not just sows, cows and plows. Everything is agriculture, and I think FFA does such a great job of getting that message across. I loved the diversity of the contests and the overall atmosphere of the convention.