In Honor of National FFA Week - Congressman Frank Lucas Remembers His Days in the Blue & GoldTue, 20 Feb 2018 16:36:55 CST
Since 1928, the Future Farmers of America, now known as the National FFA Organization, has been producing leaders of all types. They can be found in industries such as agriculture, entertainment, business, education, sports, and government. One of theOklahoma FFA’s more prominent former members now serves his state and country as a member of the United States House of Representatives.
United States Representative Frank Lucas has represented Oklahoma since 1994. He currently serves as a member of the House Committees on Agriculture, Financial Services, and Science and Technology. Throughout his many years of service, he has been advocating for the state of Oklahoma and the agriculture industry. His passion for agriculture was first planted 43 years ago in high school while he was in the FFA, and has only grown since then. Representative Lucas was recently asked about his time in the FFA and the influence that it had on his life.
Representative Lucas decided to begin his FFA career because of his cousins’ impact on him. They were both very active in the local chapter, which inspired him to join the organization once he reached high school. From 1974 to 1978, Rep. Lucas was an active member of the Cheyenne FFA chapter. His involvement ranged from public speaking to meats judging, as well as working to strengthen his individual wheat and beef cattle projects. After having his interest sparked, he had the opportunity to serve as chapter Reporter then President for two terms.
When reflecting on his time in the FFA, Representative Lucas had nothing but exceptional remarks about the organization and its lessons. “Growing up on a farm I knew firsthand the challenges that come with making a living from the earth. FFA helped me understand the importance of recordkeeping and how essential good farm policy is,” said Lucas.
He is still able to stay very involved with the National FFA Organization and its members, both past and present. Many of Representative Lucas’ former and current staff members once donned the blue corduroy jacket of Official Dress before entering the world of politics. Additionally, Lucas has enjoyed making time, despite his continuously moving schedule, to address the Oklahoma FFA members who attend the Washington Leadership Conference each summer.
The thrill for an FFA member to attend an event like National Convention has most certainly not changed a bit in the last 40 years. The same event that so many students still enjoy each year was being enjoyed by Representative Lucas in 1976 and 1977 when he had the chance to travel to Kansas City for the annual event. As a high school student, he was in awe of the thousands of FFA members from across the country and how a convention of that caliber was produced.
Representative Lucas credits the FFA and his ag teacher for teaching him necessary lessons that he still uses today. “My ag teacher taught us the importance of taking care of your reputation and image in the community as well as studying hard and having a plan. The good folks of the Third District of Oklahoma who send me to Washington expect me to do both of those things,” said Lucas.
The FFA has been a driving factor for many current leaders in agriculture, and will continue to be for those in the future. This is evident in national leaders such as Representative Frank Lucas and other agriculturalists around the nation. As students across the United States are celebrating FFA Week at this time, former members are continuing to rely on the skills and connections that they built during their own time in the immortal blue corduroy jacket.
Source - Bree Kisling, Chisholm FFA Reporter
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