‘Make a difference’

Issue Date: May 2, 2018
By Trenton Carter
Trenton Carter

I get asked almost daily: Why did you join the FFA? Why are you a part of such a big organization?

Most people who ask me this question have never heard of the FFA. The FFA provides students many opportunities to experience agriculture, like raising livestock, and gives them confidence to go out in the world and make a difference. The FFA focuses on premier leadership, personal growth and career success through many career development events, leadership conferences and public speaking competitions.

This organization has given me a voice—a voice to go out and show people what I can truly do.

Before entering this organization, I was lost. I did not know what I was going to do in the future, but FFA has helped me find my purpose. My ag advisor taught me that not everyone is meant to be in agriculture, but it is our job to advocate for this industry.

The world's population is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2020, and my generation is going to have to answer the question: "How do we feed 9 billion people?"

There have been new innovations in agriculture, but we have to find new ways to answer that question and I will be right there to help. Without the FFA, I would never have thought of being in agriculture. Agriculture is not just my purpose; it is my passion!

When speaking to other FFA members, they say that they found a home. For me, FFA makes me feel confident. When I put on my FFA jacket, I know that I am about to be surrounded by people who are just like me—people who want to make a difference in the world and watch this industry and organization continue to thrive. Every time that I tell people about the opportunities I have had in FFA, they do not believe me—but I tell them to give it a chance.

Everyone has chances in life, it is just a matter if they take them or not. Those chances will give you the opportunity to find your purpose. Everyone has a purpose; it is just a matter of finding it.

As a press corps member at the 90th California State FFA Leadership Conference, I helped tell the story of FFA. This chance took me even further out of my comfort zone and has shown me what I am truly capable of doing.

For me to take these opportunities would not have been remotely possible if it was not for my mom and my ag advisors. This support system has helped me in my journey in this organization, and I am very grateful.

If I could leave one piece of advice it would be to take chances. Do not be afraid to take a chance because you do not know the outcome. At the end of that chance, the outcome will make it all worth it. My favorite quote is "Do not dream it, be it." FFA encourages us to BE IT!

(Trenton Carter is a member of the Bakersfield-Frontier FFA Chapter.)

Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.