We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
They are still around, there's a somewhat active FFA chapter in my school district, but fewer members than back in my own high school days when the blue and gold FFA jacket was seen everywhere. Of course back then Vo-Ag was a high school major, not anymore. Most new or younger farmers are Amish these days, not English.
The county fair has exhibits from about six or eight 4-H chapters, and they have goat judging competitions from time to time.
I grew up in a small town in West Texas...baby boomer...the FFA guys were side by side with me in shop class... the older guys melted iron and poured it into sand molds and carried home a usable skillet for their mom or grandmother. If anyone would like a definition of the term "skillet" or "iron" I would suggest wikipedia to start.
Marc Anderson ... Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, isn't it? In my day, the guys melted iron in shop class and poured it into bullet molds for bullets to take home to Dad. But that was in Wisconsin, of course.
FFA is still very active. They have their convention in Indianapolis each year. You see the blue and gold jackets all over the downtown area for a few days. Life in flyover country still includes some of the 'old' organizations.
We have a very active FFA down in Killingly at the Killingly Vo-Ag program at Killingly High School. They have a demostration farm in Pomfret about two miles from my house.
I grew up with FFA out in Wisconsin although I never joined and while my major interests were outside their charter, I did participate in their dog shows and obedience demonstrations. In fact, my very first personal dog came from a FFA bred litter - Major who was a beautiful German Shepard.
Here in MT it is all about 4 H ! These kids are great--got some of the ugliest dang horses, but you should see the way they treat them--better than thoroughbred show horses! And Pork--do you remember what pork used to taste like? Well then at the end of this summer when the 4 H auctions off its animals--you run down there and pick up one of those pigs! You can also buy lamb, beef, chicken, ducks, all for meat. During the year in some areas they have farms that will sell eggs and butter--but make sure they are approved by the ag in your area. Support these kids. Even in the suburbs there are small places where the kids in your cul de sac could be organized into a small 4 H group. Do em hell of a lot better than coming home and sitting on their video games for six hours!
In eastern MA the nearest 4-H to me is in Bedford, MA--not too far from Boston, really. (I've thought about enrolling my 8 y.o.) It's also fairly popular in Essex County, I believe--there is an Ag/Voc public high school up there, too.
Its changed some in the years since I was in the organization in Illinois. I can thank my Ag Teacher for many of the things I learned and lessons that still serve me. I was blessed to be selected as an FFA exchange student, lived on a farm for 4 months in Denmark, was an officer and a state award winner. I Have wonderful memories of the FFA experience.