Future Farmers of America helps guide youth on final day of state fair

FFA shows finished up Monday as the state fair drew to a close.
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 8:58 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The fairgrounds were loaded up with agriculture-related events again this year. Future Farmers of America exhibitors use this time to show off their skills and knowledge in livestock, craftsmanship, science and more.

Nebraska State Fair FFA Show Supervisor Ryan Hassebrook told Local4 News it had been a successful fair for the organization.

“We’ve had a tremendous show this year in the FFA division,” Hassebrook said. “Our exhibitors, our total exhibits, is up from previous years and really, the quality has been fantastic.”

FFA is meant to educate kids about all things agriculture for nearly a century now, but it’s said to be much more than that.

Hassebrook said the youth are taught important lessons, like leadership, to help them build on skills as they move into their adulthood.

“Whether it’s the responsibility of having to feed and animal day in and day out or, the work ethic and the delayed gratification that goes with having to put a lot of time into a project throughout the summer, to then, be able to come to the show — just those lessons that come with that are so important for our young people to develop,” he said.

Mead High School student and FFA treasurer Paige Williams spent the weekend at the fair showcasing her goats. It’s something her dad inspired her to do when she was just ten years old.

Williams said there’s a reason she continues to show goats year after year.

“I think it’s just the involvement and there’s so many different things you can do within FFA so, no matter if you like chickens or if you like cows, there’s always something that you can be involved in,” Williams said.

Williams showed two of her goats in the breeding show and also participated in the showmanship event Sunday. She also showed one of her goats Monday in the lightweight market event.

Despite her involvement with livestock, Williams said FFA isn’t all about agriculture. She encourages other youth to consider looking into joining in on the origination.

“I think a lot of people don’t join FFA because they think it’s all about farming and livestock,” Williams said. “I would encourage to just go and try it, even, you might be a little bit curious, go and try it because I’m sure there’s something out there that is for you that you’re going to love and you’re going to enjoy and you’re going to want to be apart of it for the rest of your life.”