By Kaity Carpenter, AgCareers.com Campus Ambassador for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Being agricultural students, many of us grew up participating in organizations like 4-H and FFA. But how many of us are involved with Collegiate FFA or alumni groups? In reality, not many of us are. We cherish our time in these organizations and, many times, wish we could go back to them. But instead of going backwards, why not grow with these organizations like we grow with life?
Collegiate 4-H Memberships
As an alumni member of 4-H, you can be involved in very important ways. Not only can you keep up with the latest news, but you can get information on events that you can help out with like the 4-H National Convention. You can share your 4-H story and inspire others to join or continue with the organization. 4-H has grown some very famous people like Jennifer Nettles, Julia Roberts and Al Gore.
The 4-H organization is always looking for volunteers and mentors for the younger members. As alumni, you have experience and knowledge that others may not have if they weren’t a part of the organization. Having that experience can help you guide youth and give them a similar experience to what you had as a member. Plus, being a volunteer or mentor can help boost your personal resume for when you start looking at a career.
Collegiate FFA Memberships
As FFA members, we learned a lot about professional development and personal growth. However, that doesn’t have to end at high school graduation. Collegiate FFA offers personal and professional growth opportunities, as well as social functions.
Collegiate FFA brings in industry professionals to meet with you and give you tips on how to make yourself stand out in the job search, how to be successful professionally, and even how to handle certain uncomfortable situations within your field. If you are pursuing a career in Agriculture Education and will be student teaching, the National FFA Organization offers lesson plans on their website you can adapt and modify. They also provide information on classroom management (because we all know how difficult that can be) as well as general tips for being in the classroom. There are plenty of opportunities through Collegiate FFA to grow your professional network and hone your skills whether it is interviewing or technical skills.
While that is all wonderful and extremely helpful, we all like to have fun too. Collegiate FFA has plenty of that! The Collegiate FFA chapters offer many social functions that allow you to connect with your peers that will be in the same industry after graduation. My university’s Collegiate FFA chapter hosts a Chicken Bingo/Ugly Sweater party as their December meeting every year. This meeting allows members across campus to come, connect, and have fun all while secretly building networking skills.
Join Collegiate FFA
The Collegiate FFA website is the most direct place to connect members. Here, you can find other chapters, explore career paths, find internships, and so much more. The National FFA Organization has also developed a Collegiate Convention Track that offers workshops, social events, and a career expo that has been developed for the national convention which is being held in Louisville, Kentucky this year October 28-31.
To learn more about any of these opportunities and find ways to serve your local community, visit the 4-H website, the National FFA Organization’s website, and Collegiate FFA’s website. Read about AgCareers.com’s relationship with the National FFA Organization on our Talent Harvest blog.
Good luck to all the National FFA Officer candidates next week at the National FFA Convention! Be sure to also visit AgCareers.com at the Career Fair during National FFA Convention.