A Taft High freshman is taking the FFA Creed to heart and that creed is taking him places.
He has already demonstrated his skills at local and sectional FFA competitions and is now advancing to the regional level.
Van Poncetta, like all freshmen in FFA, learned the creed as an introduction to public speaking, said TUHS FFA advisor Teresa Taylor.
Poncetta demonstrated his public speaking skills for the Taft Union High School Board of Trustees Monday night.
He took part in – and won competitions – at the local and regional level and will be competing in the San Joaquin Regional contest on March 22 at College of the Sequoias.
He could advance to the state and national level, too.
Taylor explained the creed and its history:
"The FFA Creed was written by E.M. Tiffany in 1930 and was adopted as the official FFA Creed at the National FFA Convention that same year," Taylor explained. "A few phrases have been changed over the years, but for the most part the words written by Tiffany have well represented FFA members for over 80 years."
Here is the entire creed:
"I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.
I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.
I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.
I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so--for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.
I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task."