I've read the latest PETA post. I've read dozens of testimonies to the power of the FFA. And I thought about it.
FFA is an old organization, founded right here in Kansas City 88 years ago. When I thought about what the FFA does for kids, I realized- FFA is lame.
A high schooler being able to speak comfortably and intelligently in front of a crowd, by today's standards, is lame. It's much more hip to sit in the back of the room with your face buried in a phone while some else does the talking.
Being able to walk into an interview, composed and ready, with a resume chalk full of experiences and skills is probably lame. It's actually more modern to show up late and use things like "LOL" and "TTYL" to fill the white space on your resume. (Yes, texting lingo actually shows up on resumes.)
Having an ability to not only distinguish between species of livestock, but also having the unique ability to judge them is completely lame. It's much cooler to judge each other than it is to judge stock.
Knowing how to lead a group and inspire progress, even before having an official leadership roles or title - also lame. It's much trendier to be a blind follower these days.
Creating a network of friends across your state and across the country by actually traveling across the state and across the country? That's so lame when instead you could just log onto Twitter and follow someone you've never actually met.
Graduating high school with actual industry knowledge, about an industry besides the entertainment one, is completely lame. It's much cooler to head off to college thinking the worlds biggest problems revolve around "freeing the animals" and what the Kardashian girl was last wearing.
Learning responsibility for yourself, your chapter, your state, your country? It doesn't get much more lame than that. It's more popular to just blame your problems on someone else and protest for entitlements you so obviously deserve.
Actually taking care of animals in sub zero temperatures, in heat indexes of 100+, when they are sick, when they die? Ridiculously lame. It's much cooler to be like PETA, and just talk, and blog, about caring for animals instead of actually doing it.
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Bo Jackson, Jordy Nelson, President Jimmy Carter? They were all lame.
Me? I was lame too- it has served me well. Very well actually.
My kids? They will also be lame and my gut tells me it will work for them in the same way it has for the thousands of teens who have found themselves better prepared, better adjusted and happier after spending four (or more) years being lame.
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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