Listen, Learn, Grow
The Minnesota FFA Association, FFA Foundation, and Department of Education are committed to long term change as we listen, learn, and grow to ensure FFA is an organization where there is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind.
As the future of agriculture, food, and natural resources careers, we know it is essential for leaders from all backgrounds to be prepared for and engage in the pursuit of solutions that serve all communities and cultures. That starts with us as our students of every race, religion, orientation, and background are respected, supported, valued, and celebrated.
We support our black, indigenous, and students of color. We are committed to creating a bright future for agriculture.
We are the future of agriculture. We are Minnesota FFA.
From the Minnesota FFA State Officer team:
Members of our state officer team come from fourth generation farm families, grew up on a reservation, are already enlisted in the National Guard, and are children of Southeast Asian refugees. We are passionate about leadership – and we are passionate about people. Even with all the different stories our team represents, we still cannot speak for every student, but we can stand up for every student.
This week, all eyes are on Minnesota. The tragedy and violence are happening in our state and in our communities where our FFA members live. This isn’t happening to other people in another time – it’s a call to action for us: right here and right now.
It can be hard to know what to say or how to fix the problems that are happening – but just because something is hard doesn’t mean we don’t do it. As the sentinel, it’s my job to make sure our doors are open to our friends at all times and that they are welcome – in order to do that, it’s clear that we need to commit to creating a space for students – specifically students of color and from our native communities – to develop leadership and find their place in agriculture. We need to make sure our chapters, meeting rooms, schools, and even online discussions are welcoming and safe places that we are actually willing to make better. That probably means we need to grow, learn, and listen. That’s not a bad thing. We are committed to doing that.
We also know that FFA members are so often committed to action. We want to know what to do – right now – to fix things. But here’s what we’re encouraging you to do: listen, give yourself permission to feel uncomfortable. Talk to your teachers or parents. Read a book from a different perspective.
Many of us may have the ability to conduct a socially distanced food drive or even make a donation from a chapter greenhouse or garden. If we can be generous, let’s be generous without looking for any credit and keep our focus on meeting needs without needing attention.
We ran for state office because we believed that FFA can make a difference in anybody’s life, and we wanted to give back to the organization that gave us so much. One of the best ways any of us can do that is assuring that every student has the opportunities we got - and we are committed to assuring that no matter where you come from or what you look like, you realize how important you are to Minnesota FFA. This year, we are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that's true.
Listening, learning, and growing,
Anna, Ben, Elaina, Emilee, Laney, and Noah.