By Darrin Williamson, Region V FFA Officer and Chapter Vice President, Minnesota Farmers Union Youth Advisory Council Member

Happy FFA Week, an annual celebration of FFA and the impact it has on members like me.

I am interested and involved in agriculture – including FFA and Farmers Union – because it’s something we do as a family. My dad, Donnel Williamson, owns and operates Williamson Farm in Spicer, Minnesota, and currently serves as the Atwater Cosmos Grove City (ACGC) FFA Alumni President, the Kandiyohi County Farmers Union Vice President, the Meeker County 4-H Treasurer and Irving Township Clerk. My mom, Christa Williamson, is an Ag Teacher and FFA Advisor at Kerkhoven Murdock Sunburg High School.

Like my parents, I live and work on our certified organic family farm, and I’m active in FFA and Farmers Union. 

I am a Region V FFA Officer and Chapter Vice President as well as a member of the Youth Advisory Council for Minnesota Farmers Union’s Youth Leadership Camp program. Through both of these experiences I have learned about the importance of agriculture and leadership skills. I have learned the value of agriculture at every size and scale.

By attending Minnesota Farmers Union’s annual conventions, I have gained an understanding of how agricultural policy impacts farmers. Similarly, by attending Minnesota’s summer camp programs the past 13 years, I learned about the three sides of the Farmers Union triangle – education, cooperation, and legislation – and how they work together.

According to FFA, there are also three components of agricultural education – classroom/laboratory instruction, student leadership organizations, and supervised agricultural experience. In both organizations, the three parts work together to benefit their members and the agriculture industry as a whole.

Although I am not planning on a future in production agriculture, I will always value the foundation that Farmers Union and FFA has given me and plan to continue my involvement in both, through my own membership in Farmers Union and as a member of the FFA Alumni.  I plan on using the technical skills I have learned from the farm and my high school classes, to obtain a diploma in Band Instrument Repair.  I want to own my own business in outstate Minnesota, repairing and maintaining musical instruments.

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