Saturday began a week-long celebration for the nation's largest youth-led organization. National FFA Week lasts through Saturday. The organization boasts a membership of over a half-million students in 7,429 chapters across the United States.
At the organization's 3rd National Convention, a creed written by E.M. Tiffany was adopted. An updated version was adopted at their 38th and 63rd convention. Some of you who participated in the organization's Creed Speaking competition may be able to recite the entire creed still today. For those of you who can't, we'd encourage you to read it below; it is inspiring how much of it still rings true today.
I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.
I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.
I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.
I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so - for others, as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.
I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.
After rough years like 2009 it is good to get a reminder that agriculture is challenging, but it is rewarding. E.M. Tiffany clearly knew the importance of being a skilled business man, the importance of perseverance, and our "inborn" passion for what we do. Happy National FFA Week to all 506,199 members- we are proud to call you our future.