With some good detective work, FFA members have a chance at winning the MFA History Essay Contest.
More than 1,000 Farm Clubs were formed in Missouri by 1919 as a result of the efforts of William Hirth. Hirth owned The Missouri Farmer and Breeder magazine and frequently urged farmers to organize and place group orders for farm supplies. Those farm clubs, in turn, organized into MFA stores, elevators, cold storage facilities, creameries, produce plants and livestock associations. Today’s MFA developed as a result of this early activity.
Many FFA members live in communities where Farm Club activity occurred. Much of this history has been lost over the years. Still, much of it exists in family histories as well as in local newspaper and library archives.
In addition, MFA in the early 1920s formed the Women’s Progressive Farmers Association, which was an MFA auxiliary organization. Many WPFA clubs also existed throughout the state. We’re trying to uncover lost names and histories of early MFA associations.
What Farm Clubs or other MFA-affiliated organizations or businesses existed in your area? Who were early members or employees? When did they form and when did they dissolve or merge into other MFA organizations? Write an essay that describes the history farm clubs in your neighborhood.
Deadline: Dec. 1, 2013 (postmarked)
Format: Prepare as a Word document, 12-point type and double-spaced. Don’t exceed 1,000 words. Create a cover page that includes the title, your name, school, chapter and date.
Submit by mail or delivery service to:
FFA History Essay Contest
201 Ray Young Drive
Columbia, MO 65201
Resources: Information that will make compelling entries might come from relatives, community members, community newspapers, libraries, county historical societies and newspaper archives. Local MFA Agri Services are focused on today’s business and won’t have relevant details for this project, but we have gathered some information to help get you started. Visit http://www.mfa-inc.com/FarmClubEssay.aspx
Visit with a local librarian. Your school librarian or the librarian at your community or county library will point you in the right direction.
English teachers and history teachers will also be good resources.
Pay attention to spelling and grammar. Both will count in scoring. Primarily, though, we’re looking for facts about MFA associations in your community.
First place: $500 for author and $500 for chapter
Second place: $250 for author and $250 for chapter
Third place: $100 for author and $100 for chapter
All submissions may be published by MFA in their original or altered form.