The Future Farmers of America (FFA) have made it a priority to spread awareness of one of the most under-appreciated saving grace’s of America’s society: Farming.
Since beginning the FFA program at Harlan County High School less than a year ago, the members have already started working throughout the county by spreading their love and support of local farmers. Their most recent contribution to this was the club’s participation in Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week on Feb. 23.
Farm Bureau sponsors the Food Check-Out Week annually to honor farmers across America for all of their hard work. In fact, thanks to farmers America has been proven to have the cheapest food in the world.
“Because of farmers, food is exceptionally cheaper in America. In Africa, people usually spend half their income on food, whereas in America people just spend, on average, 7 percent,” said Harlan County High School FFA sponsor Rachael Mason.
Mason found this information so incredible that she planned a small trip for the FFA to grocery stores across the county to educate shoppers on exactly why they’re lucky to be born in the farming capital of the world.
Although, according to Mason, this was but a small project compared to the others they have planned, it was still a great community service opportunity for the members. It opened eyes up to who is responsible for the food that is eaten every day. Often people get too caught up in their own lives and tend to forget the work behind the conveniences offered to them. FFA set out to change that way of thinking.
“It was an amazing experience. I was able to meet amazing people and some even shared stories about how they used to be in FFA,” said Bryannah Ramsey, a sophomore FFA member.
However, they don’t plan to stop their work there. The program has many other projects planned for the upcoming months, including a trip to Frankfort to meet state legislators, an appearance at the Kentucky State Fair and a trip to Lincoln Memorial University’s veterinarian school.
Any Harlan County High School student who wishes to be a part of these projects can become a member of FFA simply by signing up for the school’s agriculture class and paying a small due of $14.
“It’s a really great deal, $14 for the dues, then I buy you a $50 jacket,” Mason said.
Members of FFA made it clear that they would encourage anyone to be a part of the program because it has had a very positive impact on each of them personally.
“FFA is very informing not just about plants and animals but also on business and world problems, which is helpful and inspiring,” said junior FFA member Sasha Patterson. “I also like how professional it all is. It really makes you feel like you’re a part of something big and important to the world. I would encourage anyone to join.”
Ka’ssee Robinson is a member of the Bear Tracks staff, the electronic school newspaper at Harlan County High School