It's National FFA Week and we're celebrating by taking a look back with a couple of our Hired Hand employees that participated in their local FFA's in Texas and Iowa. Brittney Klein and Molly Clubb took some time to share a few of their favorite memories from their FFA experiences and what it taught them that still impacts their day-to-day lives now.
Why did you join Future Farmers of America?
Brittney: When I was 8 years old my parents signed me up for our local 4-H group. I showed pigs for years, competed in many contests including clothing and textiles, food show and livestock judging. When I got to high school I joined FFA because I thought that was the next step. I also played competitive sports but nothing ever felt as good as winning state and going to nationals for a judging contest or winning a speaking contest at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I accomplished goals I didn’t even know I had. I joined FFA because I thought I would be able to do a few more contests but it was so much more than that. I became a part of an organization that changed my life, paid for my college, and I got to do it with some of my best friends!
Molly: The ag teacher at our high school was a great advocate of FFA. He knew I was active in showing Texas Longhorns but that they weren't allowed in 4-H or other organizations. He encouraged me to give FFA a try to learn more about agriculture outside of Longhorns.
Molly Clubb with her FFA Williamsburg Chapter in high school.
What was your favorite part of FFA?
Brittney: I enjoyed judging a lot but I also love to travel and meet new people so the conventions were my favorite. I still stay in touch with people I met over the years.
Molly: In high school, most of my friends were athletes. I enjoyed that during my time in FFA I got to know a lot of the kids who were not in sports. I also really enjoyed some trips we took and a competition we did on soil composition. I found it really interesting since my Dad was a farmer and my Grandpa worked in crop services.
Brittney Klein with her FFA team holding their awards.
Do you have any special memories or funny stories that stuck with you?
Brittney: My friends and I still laugh about the time our little horse judging team made it to state. We had to drive nearly 10 hours to Lubbock, TX and we thought we did terrible. After 3 hours of getting yelled at on the drive home, we got a phone call saying we placed fifth... in the state! We were amazed and laughed about it the rest of the way home. Also, during my freshman year I did the calf scramble at the San Antonio Livestock Expo and broke my jaw. I had my mouth wired shut for six weeks (no speaking contests or livestock reasons for me)!
Brittney with her Denver Livestock Team.
What did you take away from FFA that you still use in your day-to-day now?
Brittney: I learned how to network and meet new people. I learned to work with others and how to manage time wisely. Most importantly, I learned how to speak!
Molly: When I think about FFA I just remember how Mr. Malloy really went out of his way to encourage me to give it a try. He didn't have to do that because our school already had a really strong FFA chapter. I'm thankful to him for encouraging me to try something outside of my comfort zone in high school - I wasn't new to ag but I was new to the ag group at my school - until then livestock and ag was only something I'd done separately from my school life.
Anything else you would like to add?
Brittney: Grades matter, scholarships matter! My sister and I both had most of our college paid for through FFA related scholarships! Get involved, it is so important for your future. Side note: My FFA teachers are 100% the best in the state of Texas (ask my sister Courtney Klein, another Hired Hand Ambassador)!
Molly: Never be afraid to try something new. We grow the most outside of our comfort zones!
Brittney Klein with her FFA chapter teachers.
Hired Hand Ambassadors and sisters Brittney and Courtney Klein at a sale.
How can you get involved with National #FFAWeek? You can visit your local Tractor Supply Co. and donate $1 at checkout to support your local FFA chapters via Grants for Growing or wear blue on Friday, February 22nd, National Wear Blue Day, to show your FFA pride. Check out the National FFA Week webpage for more information.
Comment below some of your favorite memories from FFA or tell us how it has impacted your life and career today.