“As the flag covers the United States of America, so I strive to inform the people in order that every man, woman and child may know that the FFA is a national organization that reaches from the state of Alaska to the Virgin Islands and from the state of Maine to Hawaii.”– Reporter’s Script, FFA Opening Ceremonies
While the flag may cover all of the FFA chapters across the country, as expressed in the reporter’s script, the diversity of these members is as varied as the agricultural commodities they produce.
An FFA member in Hawaii may work to produce macadamia nuts and harvest algae.
Farmers in Alaska may strive to produce fruits and vegetables year-round in greenhouses and nurseries.
A fisherman in Maine may also double as a blueberry farmer.
A student at the University of the Virgin Islands may be studying the benefits of agritourism on the islands.
When it comes to understanding the diversity of agriculture in the U.S., there is no chapter better versed than the San Luis Obispo FFA in central California. This chapter created the viral social media campaign #AgItFoward in 2014 and has been going strong ever since.
The main purpose of the #AgItForward project is to promote the importance of agriculture in communities throughout the U.S. FFA members can continue to realize the importance of human connections and the value and tradition of paying knowledge forward.
“Amber Bjerre was the student who really spearheaded this program,” says Anna Bates, the San Luis Obispo FFA Chapter advisor. The FFA alumnus, “is now a student at Cornell University, but she was the lead student on this project and worked with our officer team to promote this idea.
“The whole reason we started the #AgItForward campaign in our chapter was to create tangible relationships with FFA members across the country. Followers have been able to learn more about agriculture nationwide and to help our chapter spread agricultural literacy.”