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Agricultural Science

Introducing: Blue & Gold Experience Series

October 26th, 2022 | 5 min. read

Joshua Witherspoon

Joshua Witherspoon

After serving as a Texas FFA state officer in 2018, Josh Witherspoon joined the iCEV team as a part-time employee for 3 years before taking on the role of content development specialist in 2022. Witherspoon holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University, in which his experience and proficiency in writing, marketing and CTE allow him to effectively communicate the successes of CTE educators and students and the value iCEV has to offer.

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Looking to give your agricultural science students and FFA members an elevated view of the National FFA Organization and the value it offers them in developing their leadership skills, personal growth and career success? As the largest student led organization in the nation, the FFA is filled with developmental opportunities and experiences to add value to the lives of students. The challenge today however is ensuring students understand and are aware of the vast range of opportunities and experiences available to them as an FFA member.

In this blog, iCEV will highlight the engaging ways the Blue & Gold Experience series explores the National FFA Organization and features of the lessons that will take your agricultural science program, FFA chapter and student learning experiences the next level. Click here to read the press release to learn more about the collaboration.

Exploring FFA

When agricultural educators begin looking at the Blue & Gold Experience lesson offerings one of the first new lessons is the Blue & Gold Experience: Introduction lesson, developed to help students understand the background and purpose of the FFA. This lesson includes engaging video and a slide presentation, handouts, activities as well as an assessment to check for understanding. This lesson is designed to introduce first-year agricultural science students and new FFA members to the organization, its work and how they can benefit from being a member. Start your students FFA journey off right by giving them the best perspective of the organization and all the ways they can benefit from participating with this lesson!

The next lesson designed to familiarize students with the many facets of the National FFA Organization is the Blue & Gold Experience: Involvement lesson. In this lesson, students will learn about the opportunities for members and chapters through leadership camps, conferences and conventions. Additionally, this lesson introduces competitive events, such as career and leadership development events and the agriscience fair. Like every iCEV lesson, this one also comes with a pre-made lesson plan as well as a video to guide students learning experiences and start off the learning process. This lesson in particular offers value to new and current FFA members as it outlines all the ways individual students all the way up to entire chapters can get involved.

As you dive further into the National FFA Organization with iCEV’s new lessons, agricultural science teachers will find the Blue & Gold Experience: Opportunities lesson. In this lesson, students will learn about the intra-curricular student organization opportunities including awards, degrees and financial support. Additionally, students will be introduced to career exploration and the opportunities available to them. The National FFA Organization awards more than $2.7 million in scholarships and awards to students each year. Use this lesson to connect your students to opportunities where they will be celebrated or even receive funds to put toward further education or training.

Leadership & Career Development

As an integral component of FFA and agricultural education, leadership and career development offer immense value to today’s students as they are the leaders and innovators of tomorrow’s workforce. iCEV’s new Blue & Gold Experience: Leadership lesson helps students understand the various officer positions and duties and how the tiers are implemented at the local, state and national level. Leadership development events (LDE) and career development events (CDE) are perfect opportunities for students to develop their professional knowledge and skills as well as leadership and teamwork ability.

As one of the most distinctive traditions of the FFA organization, learning and reciting the FFA creed helps students understand the ideals an FFA member should possess and the role agriculture can play in their development. In the Blue & Gold Experience: The FFA Creed, students will learn about the history and importance of The FFA Creed. Additionally, students will learn about the oral and non-verbal communication skills associated with the Creed Speaking LDE.

The lesson includes numerous activities, projects, and handouts to help students memorize the creed and understand the value it serves in their education. Within this lesson educators will find video of Creed Speaking examples from the 2021 National Creed Speaking contest where 16 states were represented as well as Spanish Creed Speaking contestants. Connect your students with this historic tradition using this lesson created to help students learn and better understand the FFA creed and its purpose.

Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE)

As the largest portion of new lessons offered in the Blue & Gold Experience series there are seven new SAE lessons to introduce students to the various SAE types accompanied by examples of real student’s projects through video and essential project components, such as record keeping strategies. A student’s SAE program involves practical agricultural activities performed by students outside of scheduled classroom and laboratory time. SAEs provide a method in agricultural education for students to receive real-world career experiences in an area of agriculture that they are most interested in.

What makes these seven new Blue & Gold Experience lessons extremely impactful is the in-depth interviews with students from across the U.S. provided by National FFA. In these videos students will learn how other students started their projects, tips for making the most out of your project as well as the integral pieces of a successful SAE project. The new SAE lessons in the Blue & Gold Experience series include:

  • Blue & Gold Experience: SAE Programs
  • Introduction to Record Keeping - UPDATED
  • Blue & Gold Experience: Exploring SAEs – Placement/ Internship
  • Blue & Gold Experience: Exploring SAEs - Research
  • Blue & Gold Experience: Exploring SAEs – School-Based Enterprise
  • Blue & Gold Experience: Exploring SAEs – Service Learning
  • Blue & Gold Experience: Exploring SAEs – Ownership/ Entrepreneurship

As one of our most watched series we are excited to launch the Blue & Gold Experience in collaboration with the National FFA Organization to better connect and engage students in FFA and agricultural education. To learn more about this must have series visit our website for more information.

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