AGRICULTURE has been a part of this country from its inception during the American Revolution, and by its very nature agriculture must remain a vital part of America. National FFA Week was the last week in February, and it affords us the opportunity to look at the history and the future of farming and agriculture.
The National FFA Week tradition started back in 1933 as a single day, but it was extended to an entire week in 1947. The purpose of the full week was to include February 22, thus paying homage to a great man born on that day: George Washington.
Washington was not only a founding father; he was a farmer and an ag champion.
Today, National FFA Week is an opportunity for all Future Farmers of America — members, alumni and sponsors — to advocate and educate on behalf of the ag industry. It’s an essential facet of FFA, as we have some real challenges to face in the future. A growing population means farmers and ranchers will need to find ways to produce more food. We also need to see more young people choose to go into agriculture.
For the health of our country and to be able to feed the world’s growing population, we will need to ensure that agriculture remains as strong in America as it was in Washington’s day. National FFA Week is a good starting point for us all to go out and spread the good word about agriculture.
How will you continue to “agvocate” throughout the year?
column by MIKE MARTIN
BIO: Michael Martin of Martin Law Office in Lakeland specializes in agriculture and environmental legal representation. A native of Polk County, Mike attended college at Sewanee in Tennessee before obtaining a doctorate in law from the University of Florida. He has tried numerous cases nationwide since that time. Mike also serves as the director of the FFA Foundation and is the author of the novel, The Crestfallen Rose.