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  NW VP, Lindsey Triplett reflects on visit with Dr. Larke
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Saturday, October 26, 2013
     

Thursday afternoon, I had the pleasure of getting to speak with Dr. Larke from Texas A&M University via voice call with some other members of the agriculture department here at Arkansas Tech. Dr. Larke was being groomed to be a National NFA (New Farmers of America) Officer when the NFA and FFA merged.  During this call I heard his viewpoint on the merger and how it affected him personally. As FFA members, we typically have fond memories of our experiences in the FFA and Dr. Larke recalled many fond memories of his time as an NFA member as well as his experiences as a high school teacher and professor working with the FFA. What shocked me about this call, however, was how little I actually knew about the joining of the NFA and FFA that happened in 1965 that I learned about in my introductory agriculture class. This collaboration has been celebrated at our state convention as well as the national convention, but there is still much to be learned about this part of our history. Dr. Larke recalled how there was great optimism about this partnership of the two organizations, but the first African American National FFA officer was not elected until 1974, nine years later! Today, agriculture is the United States’ largest employer and to meet the demands of a growing industry, it takes great diversity to provide for our nation. The joining of the NFA to the FFA was an amazing step for our organization, but there is always room for improvement. Dr. Larke’s advice for the future of FFA? Bring attention to the truth behind the NFA and FFA joining. Continue to promote diversity in our organization (67% of our membership is White; 22% is Hispanic/Latino; 8% is Black/African-American or American Indian; and 3% Asian, Pacific Islander or two or more races). Most of all, be welcoming to everyone in our organization because the greater we grow diversely, the greater our organization will be.

Good Bless,

Lindsey Triplett

Arkansas FFA Northwest District State Vice-President


 
 
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