My Dad, FFA and Farming

My Dad, Ed Strauss, receives the Outstanding Achievement Award for Agriculture from the Future Farmers of America, now called the FFA.

This photo was taken in 1967, the year my dad graduated from high school. In this photo, he is receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award for Agriculture from the Future Farmers of America, now called the FFA. The other person is receiving the Outstanding Future Homemaker Award. I feel honored to have followed in my Dad’s footsteps by being quite involved in FFA as well.

I was an FFA officer for three years and also served as the president of our local chapter. Just like my Dad, I was proud to receive awards from FFA. I went to our State Convention and received the State Farmer Award and the American FFA Degree, nationally.

I asked my Dad to tell us about the photo.

“Working on the farm always attracted me. I didn’t do sports. Instead, I preferred to go out to the barn to help milk our 50 cows before and after school. Farming and FFA were my extracurricular activities. I had a guidance counselor who once told me that if I was going to farm, he would write me off as a lost cause. It was different then — the agriculture courses at our local technical college didn’t exist. If you wanted to study farming, you had to go to Farm & Industry Short Course at the UW, but that didn’t materialize for me.

My dad was 35 when I was born and 52 when I graduated high school. He had a few health issues, so I stayed at home and helped on the farm instead of heading off to school to study farming. My mother’s favorite comment was, “The world will always need food so they will always need a farmer.” Her comment still stands true; however, the world of farming is drastically different than when this photo was taken.”

One thing that will never change: My love for dairy farming that my Dad and I still share.

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