Youth Creed Meets Life Direction
Like many agriculture students in high school I belonged to 4-H and FFA – Future Farmers of America. The blue and gold jacket is long gone, the momentos destroyed in the fire.
The creed – those paragraphs we “had to memorize” and recited at chapter meetings – that remains, and is the most long lasting ‘item.’ According to the FFA website: “The creed was written by E. M. Tiffany, and adopted at the 3rd National Convention of the FFA. It was revised at the 38th Convention and the 63rd Convention.”
So what is this creed? How does it apply? Follow along!
I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.
Why do anything if we don’t believe in what we’re doing? If we believe in word but don’t act on it, what good does that do? It’s a reminder that the diversity in agriculture didn’t just happen. The past outstanding Future Farmers paved the road to where it is today.
I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.
It’s not always easy. Sometimes are hard. Sometimes defeat says just give up then a new life leads you on, or a sunny day or a sunset.
I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.
As much knowledge and skill as I can secure. It doesn’t stop with an award, with a graduation diploma or an end of the year party. It’s ongoing!
I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so–for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.
Giving is always easier than asking. Making a difference for others with a hand up, not a hand out, goes further back than these words.
I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.
I do believe American agriculture is a foundation of our country and way of life. We cannot do without food. In all the years since I was an FFA member, these principles have held true.
It was in FFA I was challenged for crop and soil judging, parliamentary procedure and public speaking and a host of other challenges. I can’t say I excelled at all of them, but it pushed the barrier for taking part and doing well.
Youth lessons are life lessons, for good or for bad. Make them good ones for the youth in your community. The future is too important to waste.