FFA was originally started in 1928 by 13 farm boys in Virginia. Today FFA is a National Organization consisting of 523,309 members aged 12-21, in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with a total of 7,487 FFA Chapters. Students must be enrolled in an agriculture education class and pay their membership dues. There are 82 FFA chapters consisting of 4,000 members in New Mexico.
The Deming FFA chapter, consisting of 54 members has been exploring all the different events that agriculture education and FFA presents. The students have been active in Fairs, Parliamentary Procedure, Judging Events, Community Service projects, Fundraising, and Public Speaking. Each one of the events gives members the opportunity to learn and understand the importance of agriculture.
The members have just finished exhibiting their animals at the SWNM, Southern, and New Mexico State fairs. The animal sales of the members along with other Supervised Agricultural Experiences bring money in to the students. Each exhibitor has raised their animals since the beginning o f the season. This has taught the members the responsibility and dedication that is needed to take care and raise show animals or to work at or run a business. Whether it is feeding them day and night or washing and grooming them, members have learned the responsibility that’s required to be successful.
Many members have begun to love competing in the Parliamentary Procedures contests that are held during the beginning of January. This is where members learn the correct way to hold and run an official meeting. Members come together once a week starting in November to prepare for the state competition held in Portales, New Mexico at ENMU. The competition
requires the members to know and understand different motions and use them with the correct terminology. Members participating in this contest travel to Silver City for the District contest, and if all goes well they then travel to Portales where the state contest is held. Last year Deming FFA was second in district competition and seventh in the state.
Later on in the year members start practicing for Judging events that include Agriculture Mechanics, Crops Evaluation, Entomology Evaluation, Farm Business Management, Horse, Homesite, Land Evaluation, Livestock Evaluation, Pasture and Range Evaluation, and Wildlife Evaluation. All these events take time and dedication to excel in the competition. All of the different judging teams travel to invitational’s in Hot Springs, Carrizozo, and Las Cruces, these help the member to see what they need to practice and improve on before competing in the District Contest, in which half is held in Deming and half is held in Silver City. Judging teams who receive a 90% or greater at either an invitational or at the district contest are eligible for the state contest held in Las Cruces at NMSU for 4 days.
Both the AG Mechanics and Wildlife teams along with 3 agri-science student projects will be competing at the National Level in Indianapolis on October 18-23. Each of the Events has a different study of agriculture that they analyze. Each year the members grow in skill and knowledge about the wonderful world of agriculture. The National Convention will be attended by over 53,000 FFA Members from all fifty states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. New Mexico is sending around 350 members to Nationals. National Convention is packed with business sessions, competitions, a career expo, workshops, and entertainment.
During all these events members find time to help the community. The FFA is involved in countless Community Service Projects. Anything from reading to kids at My Little School to rounding up tumble weeds on properties they do it all. This helps the members realize that it is not all about agriculture but helping others in the process.
The “FFA Creed,” by E.M. Tiffany, this is just one of the numerous Public Speaking competitions that FFA members compete in. Other competitions include Prepared Speech, Extemporaneous Speech, and even Job interview. Members learn how important it is to present something in front of an audience. Not only does this help members in their competitions but also in everyday life.
Students can learn a wide variety of skills within the Agriculture education classroom and extend them into competition through the FFA. These are just a few of the wonderful activities members of the Deming FFA chapter are involved in. The help and support of the community has made it possible to excel as an organization of Deming High School. Deming FFA is getting ready to begin their annual fruit and meat sales within the next week. Please contact an FFA member if you are interested.
Agriculture is responsible for over 85% of the jobs here in the US and overseas. From cotton you wear, to the gasoline you put in your car; agriculture is a part of our lives. In hoping for a brighter future we must prepare a kid today to lead, protect and serve that is exactly what the National FFA Association has done and will continue to do. Their Motto is:
Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.