IMG_1301For those of you who didn’t make it to Oregon Aglink’s most recent Denim and Diamonds fundraiser, please mark your calendars for November of 2018 to join your fellow agriculturalists.  The event is great for reconnecting with people you haven’t seen in years and meeting new people passionate about agriculture.  For me this year’s reintroduction was not an old face or name from the past but a verse of words that many of us could once repeat from memory.

Brent Fetsch, this year’s Ag Connection award recipient, artfully weaved the Future Farmers of America Creed into his time on stage.  Hearing each paragraph brought back memories of FFA activities and the students, teachers and parents all involved in the organization.  The creed, as Brent pointed out, was written by E. M. Tiffany in 1928 with timeless clarity to convey foundational beliefs.

The FFA Creed

I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years. 

I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny. 

I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil. 

I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so–for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me. 

I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.

As an FFA student these words always seemed like more a memorization project rather than a belief system.  It’s probably been 25 years since I’ve heard the creed in its entirety.  I found the message simple, refreshing and moving. The FFA creed is a living connection to a set of beliefs and an organization engrained in millions of alumni.

Creeds, beliefs, pledges and individual opinions are fuel for social media banter in today’s society.  Kudos to E.M. Tiffany for crafting a timeless creed that holds up 89 years after he put pen to paper.  The creed has held together a collective of individuals based on their common beliefs.  As members of Oregon Aglink what is our collective creed?  I believe

Still have a few minutes? Follow this link to watch a video on how E. M. Tiffany came up with the Creed.