By KRISTA HAYES
Ohio FFA President Hannah Crossen addressed Wapakoneta High School FFA members on the responsibility that falls on FFA students to be advocates of the program and agriculture.
“There are always ways to be an advocate of the FFA program,” Crossen said, “For example, I was recently shopping at the grocery store, really taking my time to hold up and examine how the eggs were setting in the carton — so long that it was almost ridiculous — when a young woman approached me asking me what I was doing and what she, herself as a consumer, should be looking for when purchasing eggs. That right there was a perfect opportunity for advocacy and it only took two seconds.”
Using examples from places she has traveled as the Ohio FFA president and the interesting people she has met along the way, Crossen said students shouldn’t aim to change others minds about agricultural but their perspectives.
“I once met this guy wearing this bright floral shirt while on a plane to Hawaii, and after I told him what I was trying to do with my life — with my goal to some day become an ag teacher and work with students — he laughed and said, ‘Agriculture was dead,’ ” Crossen said.
“Taken back by this, I immediately began rattling off all these statistics and told him that agriculture was the No. 1 industry in the world, but he still wasn’t convinced in the least in the two hours we spent discussing the topic,” she said. “Later on when I talked to my mom on the phone that night, she reminded me that not everyone knows about agriculture and is passionate about it like I am.”
With her mother’s words prompting her to look for even more agricultural statistics on the computer, Crossen reminded students that whenever they come into contact with someone who asks what they do for a living, they should tell them what they know about agriculture, even if it gives them a different way at looking at things.
“Even though there was no way I was going to change that guy on the plane’s mind about agriculture — even if given the whole day — I hope in some small way I at least changed his perceptive as an advocate for the FFA,” Crossen said. “As an FFA advocate, that’s all you can do and the rest is up to them.”
Last Updated ( Friday, 12 March 2010 )