The Death of FFA in Southwestern Montana [OPINION]
I’ve been here in Bozeman going on four years now and one thing that truly disappoints me is the self-centered, to the point of cloister, the closed mindedness of Montana Agriculture; specifically Montana FFA.
With people moving into the Gallatin Valley, many without an agriculture background or upbringing, have NO IDEA what FFA is and can dismiss it out of hand. This is not a fault of the new arrivals to the valley we call Home. It is a direct failure of the FFA itself.
What is FFA? One would NEVER know, they have never identified that acronym in their own press releases, for example:
‘For Immediate Release: We Believe in the Future of Agriculture
March 30th through April 2nd nearly 2000 Montana FFA Members, advisors, and guests will visit Bozeman to participate in the 86th Annual Montana FFA State Convention. Students will travel from over 94 communities across Montana to compete in career-oriented contests and be recognized for their accomplishments. The convention is a multi-faceted event that allows students ample opportunity to gain leadership and personal development skills, and constructively compete against their peers. Students also have a chance to interact in the Bozeman community through a Day of Service, several area tours, and with local businesses in the convention tradeshow.’
The FFA is referenced nearly a half a dozen times later in this release without ever explaining who or what FFA is. So PLEASE, do not attempt to explain away the deterioration of Montana AG values, if the FFA can’t explain it and assume people will just happen to discover for themselves.
Future Farmers of America Montana, you deserve better from your leadership. Have them explain in every mention to the Press who you are and what you represent. Without that, the 'outsiders' will always be outsiders, left to wonder what FFA is.