FFA members know those words as the introduction to the FFA Creed penned by EM Tiffany nearly 100 years ago. Years separate today’s agriculture practices from Mr. Tiffany’s world. Years separate you from when you first learned those words. What cannot separate you from those words is the essence of what they mean, what values you learned, the impact of those words on how you live your life as an agriculturist.
VALOR’s recent visit to Southside Virginia reinforced those words-the future of agriculture. From large scale aquaculture @ Blue Ridge Aquaculture, research into crop saving bacteria at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, and the diversity of farming at Briar View Farm, what once was solely tobacco country is now a testament of where agriculture is heading.
Robert Mills of Briar View Farm and 2017 Southeast Farmer of the Year reminded me of just how important EM Tiffany’s words are to not just Virginia, or national but to international agriculture. The VALOR V fellows have nearly completed their fellowship. Through it all, these fellows have seen small ag, big ag, and ag we never imagined before. At the heart of those operations, those experiences, those communities is the belief in the future of agriculture. We all have a passion for agriculture and while not all learned the FFA creed, we all understand its essence.