National Ag Week is next week, March 10-16. Here are five things you can do to advocate for agriculture, develop your FFA leadership skills and celebrate the industry.

1. Thank a Farmer

Farmers and ranchers are the ultimate underappreciated heroes. While they go about their business behind the wheels of tractors or crunching the market numbers in their offices, the rest of the world rarely gives a second thought to how grocery stores are stocked or clothes are made. Use this week to celebrate the producers in your town by hosting a community meal, sending a thank-you letter, or even volunteering time after school to clean out a fence row, to paint buildings, or to do other daily tasks that help out around their operation.

2. Generate Awareness

Footballs, crayons, plastic straws and soap aren’t necessarily things that make you think of agriculture. Yet, each of these would not exist without it. During National Ag Week, take time to generate awareness about how the world around you is tied to the industry. Post fun facts around your school about where products come from. Snap pictures of household items that have a connection to farming. Try to identify what kind of farm each thing you eat during the day comes from and then share it with the people at your table.

3. Wear Your Ag Pride

National Ag Week is a great time of year to volunteer in your community. Spend time distributing goods at a local food pantry. Take a moment to visit an animal shelter to help animals socialize or to clean kennels. Beautify your town by picking up litter or shoveling snow. FFA members “live to serve.” While you are out and about this week, wear your favorite FFA attire or agriculture T-shirt. You will look cool and advocate for agriculture at the same time.

4. Spread the Word

The average American receives 300 to 700 marketing messages per day. Our senses are bombarded by 11 billion data bits per second. We harbor 50,000 to 70,000 internal thoughts per day. Make sure agriculture is included in this! Use the hashtag #SpeakAg across social media. Write a letter to the editors of your local newspaper or community blog. Call in to the radio station to talk about agriculture. Use examples from agriculture as topics in your other classes. Keep agriculture in the mind of everyone around you.

5. Learn a New Ag Fact

Agriculture is a diverse and all-encompassing industry. Whether you are a Greenhand member or an FFA advisor with decades of experience, there is always something new to learn. Use the week to follow a new influencer, such as The Farmer’s Life or Farm Babe, download a new podcast, such as Agriculture Proud or The AgVocate, or “Like” a farmer on Instagram, such as @HillJay45 or @SproutCreekFarm. And, of course, be sure to follow the National FFA Organization on social media to learn more.

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