While growing up on a farm in Kentucky, Glenn A. Stith says his parents understood the lifelong values FFA provides for youth.
“My dad told me and my two brothers Dale and Leslie that we would have to find our own transportation back from high-school sporting events. We lived 20 miles out. But my dad took time away from farming to drive us to and from FFA activities,” Stith said. “That’s how strongly my parents felt about agricultural education and FFA.”
Those values have continued to serve Stith throughout his life.
He received his undergraduate degree in agricultural economics at the University of Kentucky and his master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He then worked for Monsanto as vice president of U.S. branded business, responsible for seeds, biotech traits and chemistry. Through his job he traveled around the world, to North America, Asia, South America and Europe. “I did way more than an old country boy from Kentucky ever dreamed of doing,” he said. After 34 years with Monsanto, he retired.
Stith credits FFA for his achievements. “In high school I was involved in every contest FFA offered: prepared speaking, impromptu speaking and parliamentary procedure. I gained leadership skills, professional development skills and skills that made me successful in my career and my life,” he said. “With FFA, I could stretch myself and reach for the stars. It is the perfect organization for young people.”
To support the National FFA Foundation, Stith makes annual gifts. Now he has included FFA in a planned gift in his estate through a charitable trust.
“The most satisfying thing I can do is give back and help young people achieve their dreams and have an opportunity to enjoy a wonderful career like I had,” he said. “I take a great deal of pleasure in contributing. There is no greater satisfaction than being able to give back to a good cause.”
“Visit a local chapter or the National FFA Convention & Expo,” Stith says emphatically. “That will make you a believer. FFA and agricultural education is the real deal when it comes to youth development. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to help youth prepare for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.
“I encourage anyone who has benefited from FFA, or if your children benefited, to consider becoming an annual giver or making a planned gift to FFA. It’s money well spent.”