The Ripon Christian FFA Chapter is officially in motion – with blue jackets in tow!
RC FFA hosted its first ever Kick Off and Ice Cream Social on Monday, Oct. 26, in the RC High School Student Center. Over 150 FFA members, parents, and supporters were in attendance to celebrate the official chartering of the Ripon Christian FFA Chapter.
The evening included a time of fellowship over ice cream sundaes, presentations by the FFA Officer Team, and the Greenhand FFA Degree ceremony where 40 FFA members achieved the first level of FFA membership. To close the evening, FFA members zipped up the Official Ripon Christian Blue Corduroy Jacket for the first time – recognizing them as a part of something much larger than themselves. These members now stand among 630,000 FFA members across the nation as the future leaders of the agricultural industry!
What is FFA? The national organization, founded on the principles of experiential learning and service to others, began in 1928 — the same year as Ripon Christian Schools, in fact — and was originally developed as a leadership club for farm boys in Virginia. It was once known as the “Future Farmers of America,” reflecting the high percentage of americans involved in production agriculture. Today, only 2% of the nation’s population are farmers. Thus, the name was changed to the “National FFA Organization” in 1988 to reflect agricultural diversity. The mission of the FFA is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
On Sept. 21, our FFA chapter was officially chartered by the California FFA Association, meaning Ripon Christian now has the opportunity to be a part of the outstanding national organization as we cultivate environmental stewardship, life skills, humble leadership, and career opportunities for members. Through degree programs, leadership conferences, career development competitions, chapter fellowship events, and community service activities, the Ripon Christian FFA Chapter strives to develop leaders who use their influence to help others see their limitless potential in agriculture through Christ: what they can be, how they can grow, and what they can do to impact others.
The capstone moment of the evening? No, not the ice cream. The highlight of the evening was the moment when RC FFA members were able to wear the FFA official dress for the very first time — that’s right, they put on their jackets. The official FFA jacket was introduced and accepted by the delegates at the 1933 National FFA Convention. With 82 years of tradition, the unchanged blue corduroy jacket remains the iconic symbol of the organization. When FFA members put on their jackets, it is no longer about the individual. In those jackets, they become the representatives of Ripon Christian in state activities. In those jackets, they become representatives of the state of California in national activities. And in those jackets, they become representatives of the United States of America to the entire world. These jackets will bring countless memories and friendships, but more than anything they will signify that these students are part of something greater than themselves – they are members of the FFA.
The Kick Off and Ice Cream Social event was a success, as it provided a glimpse into the endless possibilities and limitless potential that the 42 Ripon Christian students have as brand new FFA members.