FFA Members Honored At Annual Awards Banquet
It was time to honor the accomplishments of members of the Emmetsburg FFA Chapter during the organization’s annual awards banquet Monday night. A former member of the local organization returned to speak to members and guests about the future of agriculture education and rural Iowa.
Jake Rouse, will be graduating from Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences this Spring, and shared some tips with the students on how to approach their upcoming collegiate experience.
“If there is one piece of advice I can give you, it would be to get the most out of your FFA experience,” Rouse began. “For you Greenhands and underclassmen, make friends with people from other FFA chapters around the state. You’ll find that Iowa is a smaller state, but with the friends you make through FFA, when you get to college, those friendships you make through FFA will grow through college and will help you as you go out into the working world. It’s truly not about what you know when you get out of college, but who you know.”
Rouse also had another piece of advice for the younger students. “Push yourself outside your comfort zone as you go through high school. Explore other areas. Try different project areas, events and activities in FFA. Your FFA experiences will serve you well the rest of your lives.”
For the upperclassmen and senior FFA members, Rouse had additional words of wisdom to share. “I can assure you that the next four or five years of your lives are going to be drastically different. In your first year of college, you’ll find that you can’t rely on what you did in high school. You and every other freshman in college will all start out with a blank sheet of paper.”
Rouse went on to reiterate the importance of trying different activities in college, noting that potential employers look at a resume` and don’t want to see high school activities listed. “You have to look at it with the idea that your high school activities and experiences help you build your toolbox – they will help you dramatically through your life.”
“Get into campus organizations and get involved in college life,” Rouse added. “You should also do internships every summer while you’re in college. Potential employers look to see what you’ve done in your internships.”
Rouse noted that the future of employment in the agriculture industry in Iowa appears positive. “Nationally, 20 percent of May 2009 graduates from college had jobs a month after they graduated. At Iowa State, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 98 percent of the May 2009 graduates had jobs a month after graduation.”