This week those distinctive blue FFA jackets were seen quite frequently at the State House as over 100 Indiana FFA members participated in the page program. This pairs an FFA member with a state lawmaker to gain an inside look at the working of state government. They also observed an actual session of either the Indiana House or Senate. Briley Fichtler, Southern Region Vice President from Newburgh, says the program was an overwhelming success, “We ended up having to turn down some members because we just ran out of slots. The youth of agriculture have a real interest in coming here to the Statehouse.”
One of those who participated in the program was Allie Adney from Franklin, IN. She said young people today have an interest in politics because of its importance to the future of agriculture, “It is so vitally important; agriculture needs the political support behind it.” She told HAT the future of agriculture will require more FFA members to get involved in politics, “There are very few politicians who are involved in or have a background in agriculture, so for us agriculturalists to get involved in the political side of it is very important to the success of this industry.” She said participating in the page program gives FFA members a great opportunity to share their stories with Indiana lawmakers. The FFA members also got to meet with Governor Mike Pence and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann.
The FFA has participated in the page program in the past but never to this extent and never with this much participation and interest, a sign FFA members see the value of being more politically active as they advocate for agriculture.