Many children – and some adults – can find it challenging to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Like our national partners, Together Counts™, the National FFA Organization supports the need to educate youth and their families on the importance of leading healthy and active lifestyles. Based on stakeholder input FFA has further realized its responsibility to include literacy and advocacy as foundational skills for their student members as these young leaders imagine the future of agriculture.
Many foods that enter the marketplace are processed for convenience, and FFA members are uniquely poised to help educate others on the various paths from farm to fork. FFA chapters across the country are putting their leadership into action by helping educate youth and community members on where their food comes from and the benefits of fresh produce and a healthy, active lifestyle. Below are a few examples of ways in which your local FFA chapter may be able to help you.
Nutrition Day Camp
Springport FFA in Michigan created a fun program to help young students choose their food more wisely. The FFA chapter held a Nutrition Day Camp for students in kindergarten through fifth grade over summer break, educating them on the importance of living a healthy active lifestyle through gardening and agriculture.
Elementary students attended the camp, where they learned about the various food groups, how to care for a garden, the nutritional value of fresh fruits and vegetables and how planting and maintaining a garden can provide unique exercise opportunities. Elementary students took their projects home, sharing the information they learned with their families. Parents soon began asking how to make the snacks their children had eaten during camp sessions.
Creating a Nutrition Day Camp is just one way to help share the importance of developing and maintaining a healthy active lifestyle. FFA chapters across the country have found unique ways to address the issues surrounding hunger, health and nutrition.
Build a School Garden
Lamar FFA in Arkansas recognized the need to “Grow a Healthier Community” through education. Utilizing the school garden as a learning laboratory, FFA members invited local elementary school students to work with through the year bygrowing, planting and harvesting fresh produce. FFA members also taught lessons to the younger students on the nutritional significance of fresh produce.
Understanding the need to help educate not only youth, but also adults on the importance of nutrition and healthy active lifestyles, the Half Moon Bay FFA chapter in California hosted a series of educational workshops for elementary students, their parents and the community at large. Topics that were covered included how to create and maintain a home garden, how to preserve the produce grown and healthy eating habits.
These are just a few examples of how FFA members “live to serve” their communities. FFA members are uniquely positioned to help educate others on hunger, health and nutrition as well as the important role agriculture plays in maintaining a healthy active lifestyle. To connect to an FFA chapter near you visit the FFA Chapter locator at https://www.ffa.org/about/who-we-are/chapter-locator.
The National FFA Organization is an integral part of agricultural education by helping make classroom instruction come to life through realistic, hands-on applications. There are 7,859 local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. www.FFA.org
For more ideas on nutrition, check out these reads from Together Counts: