Oklahoma FFA Chapter Digs Into the Life of the Man Behind the FFA CreedFri, 30 Oct 2015 11:07:28 CDT
As a former FFA member, the creed is near and dear to Travis Bradshaw’s heart. Now, as the Burlington FFA Chapter advisor, Bradshaw is taking his passion one step further by uncovering the history of the man behind the famous words.
This year, FFA celebrates the 85th anniversary of the FFA Creed. This celebration included a video during the opening sessions of convention showing FFA members from across the country reciting the creed. The tribute also included an interview with Jackson Tiffany, son of E.M. Tiffany, the author of the creed, thanks to Bradshaw’s curiosity and dedication.
After attending a conference in Manhattan, Kan., in June 2014, Bradshaw decided to visit Lyndon, Kan., the hometown of E.M. Tiffany. He was shocked to learn the town was unaware of the vital role one of their own played in FFA history, Bradshaw said.
While visiting with a lady at the Lyndon Historical Society, Bradshaw found documents indicating E.M. Tiffany’s son, Jackson, was in Madison, Wis.
“I called our chapter reporter and told her Lyndon didn’t know E.M. Tiffany wrote the creed and was from Lyndon,” Bradshaw said. “Bayli said, ‘There’s a community without an FFA chapter, we’re all about community development, let’s do something.’”
Bradshaw called Jackson Tiffany on a Thursday and after their two-hour conversation he agreed to an interview on Saturday, Bradshaw said.
“My kids, they couldn’t believe that a man with this connection to FFA had never been interviewed before,” Bradshaw said. “Today we live in the age of social media and 24-hour news. Everybody knows everything about anything that’s ever been, but this was one thing they didn’t know.”
Bradshaw and Burlington FFA Chapter Reporter Bayli Hyde, traveled from Burlington, Okla. to Madison, Wis., and with the help of a professional video crew, conducted a four-hour interview with Jackson Tiffany, Bradshaw said. They edited the footage and created a 10-minute documentary capturing E.M. Tiffany’s history from his only son, Bradshaw said.
You can watch their video by clicking on the PLAY button in the video box below.
“We’re always going to have that information 100 years from now, when FFA has continued to grow and thrive,” Bradshaw said. “We’ll have that grassroots information about our organization.”
Bradshaw and Hyde’s efforts inspired the National FFA Organization to conduct its own interview with Jackson Tiffany to create the tribute video for convention.
The next endeavor for the members of the Burlington FFA Chapter is creating a permanent monument in Lyndon honoring E.M. Tiffany, Bradshaw said.
The whole experience was surreal, Bradshaw said with a smile.
“I always wanted to be an ag teacher, there was never any question,” Bradshaw said. “As an ag teacher you’re there for your kids and you’ll give up your life for them in whatever way you can, and this just seemed like something else I was supposed to do.”
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Bayli Hyde about digging into the life of E.M. Tiffany- and you can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
(story provided by National FFA Convention News Writer Melanie Jackson, a student at OSU majoring in Ag Communications)
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