Learning to do, doing to learn, learning to live, living to serve.” – FFA Motto
The ability to wire a building, rig an electric fence, build shelves to a perfect square, or weld pipe may not seem like much but these are skills that will greatly influence how you see the world. Being involved in a program such as the FFA gives leaders the chance to teach, and students the opportunity to learn these skills.
With the growing dependence on technology, not many are willing to get their hands dirty and build something. There will always be a need for carpenters, electricians, and welders. Forbes, for example, recently highlighted “Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools.”
In my multi-generational farm and ranch family, teaching and knowing these skills is a way of life. I have been very blessed to have a family that values these trades and implements their use daily. For those that aren’t so lucky to be born into the farm and ranch way of life there is the FFA.
The FFA gives students the opportunity to learn these skills through their ag mechanic programs. These programs provide students a path to learn skills like carpentry, electrical wiring and welding through Ag mechanic project ideas. Young people, our future leaders, acquire invaluable technical skills they will use their entire lives.
Carpentry is an important trade skill to have because it is a guarantee every one of us will have to build something at one point in our lives. “The carpentry profession is projected to grow by about 24 percent from 2012 to 2022, a rate that exceeds the average for all occupations,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Learn skills such as:
- Proper measurements, width and length
- Materials types and where / when to use them
- Build houses, barns, play structures, pallet furniture etc. (your Pinterest-loving spouse will thank you!)
Electricians are vital in today’s economy. “The number of electricians in Indiana is projected to grow from 14,452 in 2012 to 16,684 in 2022,” says INDY Star. Some skills learned in the FFA classroom include:
- Ability to wire a building or structure
- Knowledge of industry standards
- Learn the proper ways to replace outlets, install heat lamps, etc.
Welders are sought after worldwide. “Infrastructure replacement and maintenance will become a bigger business in the United States over the next decade,” says Tulsa Welding School. “As a percentage of the economy, capital improvements and repairs on critical structures will only continue to grow and demand the attention of skilled welders.” Being an FFA welder gives you the foundation to become influential in your industry and raise the bar for the next generation of welders.
- Become a certified welder brings the opportunity to work anywhere and make a comfortable wage doing so.
- A skill that’s useful in many different fields: construction, pipeline, farm and ranch, etc.
The FFA cares about future generations enough to teach them these types of valuable, useful skills.
Are you a carpenter, electrician or welder and a former FFA member? Tell us in the comments how the FFA prepared you for the workforce, or share your FFA experience on our Facebook page!