State FFA plows new ground

January 13, 2013 

Joshua Bledsoe didn’t figure on agriculture as a career when he was growing up in the small Surry County town of Dobson. His enrollment in an agriculture class, with his father’s encouragement, changed all that. Now Bledsoe will continue to change lives as chief operating officer of the Future Farmers of America. He’ll be moving from Raleigh, where he’s been the state FFA coordinator (with a stop at FFA headquarters in Indianapolis for some special projects), to the home office next month.

What is it about agriculture teachers changing lives? But they do. Bledsoe did that himself, winning a top teaching honor during his days in Columbus County schools. It seems to happen all the time, that such teachers light a spark in youngsters that lasts them forever.

The FFA remains a wholesome and strong organization, and it’s no insignificant force in North Carolina, where, despite a lot of urbanization, agriculture and all its definitions (science, farming, research) remain vitally important to the state. People like Joshua Bledsoe help to make it so, and respect the history of agriculture as a cultural as well as financial force in this state and this nation.

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