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Future of agriculture bright because of FFA and 4-H

Midwest Messenger Columnist

Paula Peterson is a columnist for the Midwest Messenger.

Right this very minute down on the farm I am feeling optimistic. I usually try to go into the spring hopeful that the calves keep growing, the corn and soybeans get planted and we get timely rains. By the time this article runs, we should have some corn in the ground. It has been a little chilly here, so the corn has been just as happy to be snuggled in a probox as opposed to being in the chilly ground all by itself.

We have gotten quite a bit of work done on the fields over the winter and all spring long. Ditches have been cleaned up, terraces patched in where needed and cuts worked down. Rick is getting the fertilizer and weed zappers applied so we will be ready to roll.

I am beyond fortunate to have been able to be involved with the Waverly FFA for almost twenty years now in one capacity or another, from mom, to alumni’s mom and now grandma. Through the various organizations I have been involved with, including Lancaster and Nebraska Farm Bureau, Waverly Grange and Common Ground Nebraska, I have been able to stay involved with FFA and 4-H members across Lancaster County.

Let me tell you, we have got some amazing kids that are going to make sure the future of agriculture is thriving and vibrant. Over the course of the 93 years that Waverly FFA has been going, they have sent 30 individuals to be a part of the Nebraska FFA officer team.

This year we have an amazing young lady named Emelia that is going to serve as Secretary. I have had the opportunity to get to know her and work with her through events like Fun at the Farm, the kids ag zone Lancaster County Farm Bureau sponsors for the county fair. She is going to be an amazing asset for the Nebraska FFA officer team this year and I know that is just the beginning for her. There is a young man in my 4-H club, Kolter, who is working with the community and the school to get contributions for beef to be served in District 145 that will be sourced locally by area farmers. If you want more information, check out their Facebook page District 145 Beef in Schools.

These are just two of many that I have the chance to be in their lives yet. I have gotten to know students from Raymond Central and Norris, as well. FFA is as relevant today as it was 93 years ago and, in fact, may be more critical. With only two percent of the population farming but many more areas open to people interested in all the avenues that are in involved with agriculture, we need voices, and these kids have them. They love what they are doing and are very proud of their blue corduroy jackets.

This fall is going to very exciting for me, my grandson Christian will be a member of the Waverly FFA chapter. His SAE (supervised agriculture experience) involves beef production and ag education, so far. He will be working for us all summer long checking cattle and getting his calves ready for county fair. That will be alongside playing baseball and being a batboy for the Lincoln Saltdogs. We are still waiting to hear which player has decided to come stay with us for the summer. I promise to let you know in the June edition.

Everything I am involved with on one level or another gives me the chance to share my love of our way of life. I am so grateful to be able to get reenergized by working alongside some of the most energetic, hardworking and dependable young people ever. If you ever get asked to help with any event for 4-H or FFA, I guarantee you will not regret it. These youth are such fantastic representatives of what agriculture will be, the future is looking very, very bright!

Living the life, I love.

Paula Peterson and her husband raise crops and cows near Waverly, Nebraska. She loves to share her love of agriculture with people from all walks of life, and she is active with several agriculture organizations. She can be reached at pgpeterson86@gmail.com.

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Midwest Messenger Columnist

Paula Peterson is a columnist for the Midwest Messenger.

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