Thousands of FFA members in Iowa are celebrating with special events to mark National FFA Week.
Kurt Veldhuizen is the advisor for the 92-year-old organization which teaches students about the agriculture industry. He says they’ll be selling t-shirts and fruit baskets and some members will be driving their tractors to school. “It’s a chance for FFA members to spread the message of all the good things they’re doing throughout the whole year,” Veldhuizen says, “but focused on one week to really get our name out there and our message out there.”
The Webster City FFA chapter is involved in an event today to package meals for the needy through the Meals From The Heartland program. “We’re going to package 120,000 meals,” Veldhuizen says. “We’ve partnered with the Main Street Kiwanas in Webster City to help raise funds. The last two years, we’ve just done it with the high school students. This year, with that partnership, we are extending packaging from 2nd grade all the way through 12th grade.”
He says the role of FFA is especially important in this time of a challenging ag economy. Veldhuizen says, “Obviously, our prices are not great for our producers right now but from the learning experience the last 30, 40 years, our producers today are much better at marketing and taking advantage of different things and using that education to make sure they’re doing as best as they can.”
Iowa has more than 15,700 FFA members in 246 chapters statewide. The statewide FFA leadership conference will be held in April in Ames, while the national convention will be held this fall in Indianapolis.