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Top 10 Reasons Agriculture is Good for Youth

Young, Beginning, Small & Veteran Farmers

It’s National FFA Week… which is kind of a big deal, at least for us! FFA has played a huge role for several of our Knowledge Center team members, and is a long-standing organization that has incredibly deep ties to agriculture.

Added to that, FFA members go on to be leaders – in their communities and beyond.  The skills learned in FFA are varied and immense, which led us to thinking about all the reasons that growing up, or being involved, in agriculture benefits youth in general.

So…here are our Top 10 Reasons Agriculture is Good for Youth:

  1. Responsibility – agriculture teaches responsibility in so many ways – chores are a daily part of life for kids involved in agriculture and everyone has to do their part!
  2. Respect – kids involved in agriculture often work around many different pieces of equipment and livestock, some of which significantly outweigh them.  Having respect for equipment, livestock and the adults helping them to learn is extremely important…and a lesson learned early and often.
  3. Financial Management – for youth with livestock projects, financial records are a required part of their project; knowing how much the animal itself cost, how much the feed and vet bills were, how much the animal was sold for, etc.  If they purchase their own livestock project, they also have to decide what they can buy with the money they have available.  And in general, kids involved in agriculture are raised from an early age to understand that budgeting and financial planning is integral to a successful business.
  4. Time Management – animals have to be fed at a certain time, crops are planted and harvested at certain times, and in between all of that, there is school, sports, homework, etc.  A life in agriculture is a true lesson in time management.
  5. Winning, and Losing, Gracefully – Youth who are involved in agriculture, and who compete in agriculture competitions, learn from an early age the importance of winning, and losing, gracefully.
  6. Communication – talking to the livestock breeder you want to purchase an animal from, talking to potential buyers for their livestock project, giving reasons in a judging competition, participating in a public speaking contest…all of these help to build strong communication skills that will be of benefit for years to come.
  7. Decision Making – what animal to buy, what seeds to plant, what bull to breed your heifer to…youth in agriculture make many different decisions.  Added to that, they see the decisions made daily for the farm, and understand the importance of making a decision, and living with the consequences.
  8. Compassion – compassion for animals in their care, for friends, family and neighbors who may be struggling, for another youth who had a tough show; all these and more help to teach youth involved in agriculture the value and importance of compassion.
  9. Team Work – for many agriculture competitions, team work is integral…and even on the farm success depends on everyone working together to get the job done.
  10. Work Ethic – It’s no secret that agriculture is long hours and a lot of hard work.  Kids who are involved in agriculture learn the value of working hard, and of a job well done…and know that the day isn’t done until the job is.

What did we miss?  What would you add to the list?

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