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About Future Farmers of America


January 30, 2023 — Hi, I am Emma Rauschenberg, and I am a Senior at Dallas Center-Grimes High School and one of the two Reporters that are part of our FFA Chapter’s Officer Team. I want to share with you what Future Farmers of America is and about my experience as a member.  Future Farmers of America is a national youth organization that promotes leadership and career success through agricultural education. Future Farmers of America (FFA) has taught me so much in the areas of teamwork, responsibility, leadership and communication skills.   

Out of all of the things I have learned in FFA the most important thing is responsibility. Part of that responsibility learned is through having a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). A SAE is a requirement for being a FFA member. You might be asking yourself what an SAE is. All members choose a project they do outside of school that is agricultural, course-related and supervised. There is a wide variety of different projects that students can choose as their SAE. Many students choose their job, however, FFA projects could also be their livestock, pet, crops, building machinery, or crafting. All these projects are student lead, and each member must take responsibility for documenting information on their chosen project. 

Over the past 4 years of being a FFA member I have had a couple of different SAE projects. When I first joined FFA my SAE was dog sitting.  The next year I worked at Bomgaars and my job was my project and I had to document what the job consisted of, the hours I worked, and the money that I earned while working there. This past summer I started showing Boer goats and they became my sole FFA SAE project.  Raising Boer goats is a big responsibility as there is a lot that goes into owning and raising livestock. I live in Dallas Center and currently keep them at my sister’s farm in Perry. Every morning and night I drive there to feed and care for them. Between my 5 goats, school, and a part time job at a local day care in Grimes, I am usually always on the go. Feeding and watering are the most important parts of their care. In addition, I must purchase feed, bedding, and other supplies. Supplements are also used in their feeding program to help them keep a healthy coat and in good body condition. This winter one of the most important things has been my diligence in keeping them warm. I keep their pens warm with heat lamps and a layer of clean, warm straw bedding. Since my goats are inside, because of the low temperatures, it is very important that their pens are kept exceptionally clean. I have a buckling that was just born at the end of December so keeping the barn warm is especially important for him. 

Looking forward, I am excited for spring to arrive as the show season will start and I will be exhibiting my goats at competitions throughout the state. These competitions will include the Dallas County Fair in July and the Iowa State Fair in August. I would encourage you to attend one of these events to see all the students with their various SAE projects on exhibit. If you would like to learn more about Future Farmers of America, check out and celebrate National FFA Week in 2023 on Feb 18-25. #FFAweek.

Information provided by Emma Rauschenberg, Senior, Dallas Center-Grimes Community School Student and Dallas Center Grimes FFA Chapter Member

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