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Students, Teachers from Ukraine Visit Chillicothe to Learn About FFA Program
By Angie Talken
CT 05 08 19

Last week, FFA members met with their counterparts from Uman, Ukraine - some 5,467 miles away - allowing each group to learn from each other while supporting the goals and missions of FFA.

Members of the Future Farmers of America spend countless hours dedicating their time and energy to fulfill the organization's motto: "Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve." Student members commit their time and attention to the organization because they recognize the educational opportunities and practical benefits it provides. The FFA Mission, states, "The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education." As in America, agriculture is a huge economic development tool in Ukraine, and people of all ages are recognizing the importance of increasing the amount of agricultural goods and services, while continuing to learn and update practical and technological methods.


During their time in Chillicothe, members of an FFA-like organization from Ukraine visited the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center's greenhouses and facility. Angie Talken/ CT Photo

Anna Stepaniuk and Antonii Radzivilov are two of the six students and seven adults from the Future Farmers of Ukraine who have been the guests of the Agricultural Education and Leadership program at the University of Missouri. The group spent 10 days visiting local chapters and the Missouri State FFA Convention. They spent last Friday in Chillicothe touring the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center and attending the annual FFA Awards Banquet.

Two and a half years ago, the Future Farmers of Ukraine was established. Since then the group, which is the main agriculture education organization in the country, has been leading a project to develop their Future Farmers of Ukraine organization and closely pattern it after the FFA. The organization's goal is to train youth who are 14-18 years old and to promote successful development of agriculture in Ukraine and lead local communities, the country, and the world. In conjunction with the youth organization, a Ukrainian Agrarian Lyceum has been initiated. The Lyceum is an academic institution for students in grades 10-11 with the goal to create a network of educational centers training youth who are motivated to lead agriculture in the future.

During their 10-day trip to Missouri, the group spent time with various FFA chapters in Tipton, at the University of Missouri and in Chillicothe. While visiting Chillicothe the group got a tour of the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center, discussed cattle farming, toured the barns and were able to continue the pattern of learning and networking. Learning about everything from practical approaches of planting, farming, learning agriculture trades and even core ideals of the FFA organization like leadership, public speaking, community involvement and working as a team have been insightful. The connections the group has made are sure to prove helpful, not just for the near future, but for years to come. "We have made and met a lot of friends, who we know will help us with any questions we have, " he said. "They are also our friends now, and that is very nice. We now have American friends to help us into the future."

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