Path Home Shows 2015 Show Archive October 2015 Show 1542 FFA Is Important to Oklahoma

FFA Is Important to Oklahoma

District officers share how FFA has affected their lives and the lives of so many others.
FFA Is Important to Oklahoma

FFA Is Important to Oklahoma

For more information visit these links:

Oklahoma FFA Association

National FFA Organization

Central Tech


Show Details

Show 1542: FFA Is Important to Oklahoma
Air Date: October 18, 2015



Rob McClendon: Well, nationwide FFA has right over 610,000 members spread out over 7,600 chapters. And these students from around the country will be gathering in Louisville, Kentucky, next week for the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo. Joining me in studio are two state officers – Kelby Corbett from the southwest district here in Oklahoma and Markel Harris from northeastern Oklahoma. Well, I guess my first question to both of you is why did you become involved in FFA? Kelby?

Kelby Corbett: I joined the FFA my eighth-grade year. Growing up, my parents both exhibited livestock, so my mom exhibited cattle and my dad hogs. And so it was just destined that I would be involved in the animal industry and livestock industry as well. So I started showing pigs when I was about 8 years old and continued on. And in my eighth-grade year when I enrolled in FFA I just traded my green jacket for a blue jacket.

Rob: Yeah, and Markel you grew up in a more metropolitan area. How did you get involved?

Markel Harris: In my eighth-grade year I had the option to go into FFA, and my grandfather was a member of an Arkansas FFA chapter, and he said all his passions for FFA there were, he showed horses and competed in different things, that you should do this, you’ll really, really enjoy it. So I listened to him, and I joined FFA.

Rob: It should be said FFA offers a lot of things both to urban students and to rural students.

Corbett: Definitely. So our organization has over 24 career development events. My ag teacher was like, we’re starting a new team and I think that you’ll be good on it. And I decided to take the chance and sat on it my junior year. Basically this contest was the ins and outs of food development and marketing and things like that within this contest. And so we got to make our own products and we actually were state champions that year as a first-year team.

Rob: I know for, really, chapters all across the state, service projects are a big part of what you do. Tell me about some of things that you’re involved in here in Oklahoma.

Corbett: This was implemented a couple years ago – the state office team encouraged each chapter in the state of Oklahoma to donate at least one animal to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. These animals would then be processed into pork and beef sticks to go home to Backpack Challenges, which is something that I had in my home chapter. And the Backpack Challenge was a program that sends home backpacks with children who may not be able to get enough nourishment over the weekend. And last year’s officer team set the goal of over, of each chapter donating at least one animal, and they exceeded that goal with over 381 donations. And so we were super excited. We kind of sat down with the food bank this summer and got the final tally, and we were so excited. But every chapter had taken part in this and then some. And so we are glad to be helping Oklahomans across the state.

Harris: A new thing we added this year as an officer team is the Cents Makes Sense, which we asked chapters to add on the extra 25 cents to their meat sales, which will all be gathered up as a whole and given to the Food Bank of Oklahoma, which will help support the Beef for Backpacks and the Pork for Packs to kind of like help pay for the processing for those packs to get taken care of and sustainable.

Rob: Now, I know something that is important to anyone that’s ever gone through the FFA, something they’ve all done is memorize their creed, and this is the 85th anniversary of that creed, and I know a chapter in Burlington, Okla., was instrumental in honoring the man who wrote it.

The FFA Creed by E.M. Tiffany: 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 agriculturalists.

Andy Barth: Bradshaw and student Bayli Hyde traveled to the National FFA Center in Indianapolis to look for information surrounding the creed and its author.

Travis Bradshaw: There were many letters dating back to the ’50s and ’60s of people who had written the FFA asking for information on E.M. Tiffany, and we thought, “What a great opportunity to answer some of those questions.”

Andy: And they did. Bradshaw met with Jackson Tiffany, the son of the creed’s author, and learned about the man behind the words written so many decades ago.

Jackson Tiffany: I would like to tell you about the work of my father, Erwin M. Tiffany.

Andy: A story being told in a Kansas museum and documentary, all created by Bradshaw.

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.

Bradshaw: The insight and the passion for somebody to write a creed over 85 years ago and to have it still stand true today, with only a couple of changes, you know, that’s, that in itself is inspirational.

Rob: Now, this also the 50th anniversary of the merger between the FFA and the NFA. Tell us if you will Markel, a little bit about the NFA.

Harris: The New Farmers of America were organized in Tuskegee, Alabama, and got their membership in 1935. They provided African Americans to be involved in agriculture and vocational agriculture and leadership activities just as FFA members were. And NFA and FFA merged in 1965.

Rob: Certainly a good organization and one that has a long legacy and one that we actually have a story about on our website at if you’d like to see that. Kelby, Markel, thank you both for being here.

Markel: Thank you.

Kelby: Thank you for having us.