What is unique about agriculture? Out of all of the other disciplines that mankind has developed over the years, what makes agriculture “our wisest pursuit” as Thomas Jefferson told George Washington. Why is agriculture always going to be one of the most important subjects studied? I think the answer to all these questions is the same– people.
Agriculture connects us all as a global population. There is a uniqueness that is relatively humanitarian found in the area of providing for basic human needs.
From there I can tell you why I am passionate about FFA and Agricultural Education. There is no other organization like it, especially one that promotes agriculture, which is an industry unlike any other. What agriculturists do day in and day out, is providing the building blocks, the essentials tools, the basis of our everyday lives– whatever you want to call them– the things we take for granted every day that allow us to do what we do. It is more than farming; it is everything farming becomes. The food, fiber, and fuel produced are what drives our ability to exist as we do. Without those things which wouldn’t exist without agriculture, humanity as we know it would look extremely different.
People may argue that other industries like technology have shaped the world more, but I disagree. What has allowed advances in any industry, whether it be automotive, pharmaceutical, or electronics, those technologies were developed because the people developing them didn’t have to worry about food first. Agriculturist embraced changes early on that created an environment in certain cultures of humanity that allowed for less uncertainty and instability when thinking about one’s next meal. With that said, when we worry less about food, we begin to advance other areas. Without agriculture being there to support those other advances, once again, humanity as we know it would look extremely different.
When people ask me why I want to be an agricultural educator, or why I was involved in FFA, and then ask me why high school agricultural education is necessary, I tell them about the leadership and the personal growth. What I need to be more intentional about is including the importance that agriculture plays within humanity, and that FFA and Ag Ed are great ways to open doors and clear paths for students who want to make an impact. I would challenge those reading this to do the same.