A Cowboy’s Faith: Youth group sets foundation – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Youth group sets foundation

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I believe in the future of farming with a faith born not of words but of deeds. Achievements won by past and present generations of farmers in the promise of better days through better ways. I believe that to live and work on a good farm is pleasant as well as challenging. I know the joys and discomforts of farm life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which even in hours of discouragement I cannot deny.”

Likely, that’s not the exact wording. Still, it’s been 57 years since memorizing the FFA Creed as requirement for FFA membership as a high school freshman. The words just rolled out right or wrong when it was reported that National FFA Week is Feb. 19-26, 2022. Celebrations are planned throughout the country.

Since earlier days, Creed phrasing has changed with agriculture replacing the word farming and other modern terminology incorporated. Actually name of the organization has also been altered. Originally, FFA meant Future Farmers of America. For some reason it was decided at a national convention conducted then in Kansas City to be called just “FFA.”

Uncertain if “FFA” really means anything to vast majority of the population. However, it is still a group for youth interested in agriculture. Officially, the National FFA Organization is “specifically a career and technical student organization. It’s based on middle and high school classes that promote and support agricultural education.”

Students enrolled in vocational agriculture classes are members. Thankfully, one thing that hasn’t changed since beginning in 1928 is the organization’s blue corduroy jackets embroidered in gold lettering. Two such jackets hang in the closet more than five decades since membership eligibility ended.

Despite all technology transformations in the world possibly foremost in farming, those basic lessons learned in FFA remain.

While there were strong agriculture genes, actual farming knowledge was very limited the first day in vocational agriculture class. Thankfully, the instructor who remains a lifetime friend and advisor as then, was very patient.

Extent of participation was quite broad from a grocery store carryout boy wannabe cowboy first learning to weld. Following was construction, studying production, evaluation, record keeping, agriculture writing and leadership.

FFA must be credited as the major foundation for what ranch life is today.

Reminded of Matthew 7:24: “It is a foundation to build a life on.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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