Have you ever heard of FFA? Were you ever involved in it? The mission states: FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Unfortunately my high school did not offer agriculture classes or FFA. Three years after I graduated, the Pontiac Chapter was re-chartered in 2003. I was actively a part of 4-H as I grew up but I only had a basic understanding of what FFA was until 6 years ago.
Why six years ago? Six years ago today, I met my favorite agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at a high school basketball game. Flash forward to 2015, and I am honored to call that individual my husband and together we are the parents of two amazing children. During that time, I have learned so much about this amazing organization and I have seen first-hand a few of the young adults that have proudly worn the navy blue corduroy jacket. The vast number of talented young adults this organization helps shape is astounding. According to their website, there are 610,240 student members in 7,665 local chapters. Behind each of these students is an equally talented Advisor and mentor. Pontiac Township High School is blessed to have not one but two incredible talented individuals, my husband, Jesse and Parker Bane or as their students call them, Faber and Bane.
I may be partial but together these two men truly “Go All Out”. If you ask them, the Chapter’s success is because of their kids. The accolades this Chapter have been awarded, like the 2013 Model of Excellence winner (top chapter in the country!) and the Banker’s Plaque in 2013, 2014 and 2015 (top chapter in Illinois) are due not only to the dedication of the students however, but also because of the excellent leadership and guidance that Jesse and Parker provide.
Tomorrow, February 21st, FFA week begins. Let’s celebrate and “Go All Out” and celebrate everyone that makes FFA a great organization to be involved in!
Don’t believe me, read what what their students have to say:
We got involved to learn a little bit about agriculture and leadership, and we did; but more importantly, we were taught to set goals with a defy the odds mindset, take advantage of opportunities to build relationships, and give of ourselves until we can’t give anymore. – Jordan
They helped find the career I am pursuing and then prepared me for it by encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself constantly with leadership roles, public speaking, event planning and so much more. – Rachel
Encouraged me to pick a career that was the best fit for me and left me with skills such as leading a group, planning for large events, and how network/interact with a variety of people to get the job done well and efficiently. – Abby
Jesse and Parker taught me the importance of loving what you do, the value of staying true to your beliefs, and never forgetting where you came from. – Clay
Bane and Faber taught all of us a lot of things that will help us throughout life. They taught us people skills, time management,I know this will be surprising to people who have asked them where something is but organization, and most importantly to me the willingness to do things for other people and help other people with smiles on our faces and truely being able to enjoy it. These are things that I will be able to use for my entire life and I am thankful I was able to learn them from such incredible people. – Grace
It is because of their dedication to see a student become successful is why I want to become an agriculture educator myself. There are simply not enough caring people in the world today that have the willingness to mold young minds as Parker Bane and Jesse Faber do. – Mitch
They have shown me through there own passion with there career, family, friends & students to go after my dreams and that no dream is every to big to accomplish if you are passionate about it. – Courtney
Mr. Bane and Mr. Faber saw not only who I was, but more importantly, they saw the potential I had and together they worked with me and pushed me to achieve that potential and so much more. The most incredible part of all of it is that I was not even a student at PTHS and they still took the time out of their busy lives to invest in me and my future. These two men are prime examples of what agriculture educators do: invest in the lives of future leaders and agriculturists. – Sam
Bane and Faber have helped me greatly become the successful young adult that I am today. They pushed me to work my hardest in FFA, in work and whatever else I was doing. They always had my back and supported me. They still continue to help me even as I have move on into my college career and I am very great full for all the times they pushed me to better when they knew I could. – Zac