Valley City Times-Record
Local FFA Chapter looking to grow
What is FFA. Well the letters stand for Future Farmers Of America. But the student organization is not just for your future producers anymore, and it hasn’t been that way for some time.
This week is National FFA Week so what better way to find out more about FFA.
The Times-Record put the question to members of the Sheyenne Valley FFA Chapter, What is FFA. Madisyn Steckler, president of the Sheyenne Valley Chapter answered, “its a student led organization and it promotes agriculture. Some people get kind of scared when they hear that, they say ‘I don’t want to be in agriculture,’ but it is also really good in helping in leadership. So like anything that deals with leadership stuff you want to become in the medical field, business, pretty much anything, so leadership is a big part.” Steckler says its a very interactive organization, especially when you go to conferences. “We do a bunch of different things, the FFA puts on a fall conference, its in Bismarck for a weekend,” Steckler says. “There’s different speakers, so we go and listen and its divided up so you are not always with your chapter. You meet other people so you learn different leadership skills.” Steckler likes the fact that with FFA, you meet people that have different backgrounds. “Even though not all of us, technically, we don’t live on farms, we still have so much in common and that is one thing I like about FFA,” Steckler said. “When I first joined, I thought is was strictly like farmers and stuff but there’s such a wide group of people in there to. You’ll find someone that will match you and there’s a lot of chances to meet new people.”
Then there is State FFA.
“This year was our first year of ever doing it,” Darci Jewett the chapter vice president, secretary and reporter said. “It’s held at the college in Fargo, so you kinda get like a college experience while you’re there. They have workshops where kids can build things and work on their leadership skills, and communication.” Jewett continued, “We had sessions each night where everyone came into one building and we discussed and vote on things to improve on in FFA.”
Steckler added, “That’s like one of the last days at state FFA because every single chapter in North Dakota all go there so we’ll vote on our state officers for the following year.”
Like many student led organizations, there is also a community service project. Community service is another big thing with FFA. “In FFA you have a list of requirements your chapter needs to meet,” Steckler said. “And one of them is you need to do a community service project.” The Sheyenne Valley FFA helped out the Salvation Army for its project. “So this year we did
go to Fargo for a day and we rang the bells,” Steckler said. “Last year we did a little fundraiser at the school, Battle of the Brands. So we had Dodge, Ford, Chevy, John Deere, Case and then whichever one you liked best you put money in that bucket and so we donated that to the Hi-Liner Pantry at the school. We do little things like that around our community too.” Another part of FFA is sponsorships from area businesses. “This year we have 15 total,” Jewett said. There are different levels of sponsorships based on what you give. There is a bronze, silver and gold levels. We have quite a few gold people this year,” She added. “Then, with those, we promote them on our Facebook page every Wednesday and Friday.”
They have goals set for this program. “We are a growing program,” Ethan Persons chapter sentinel said. “We hope to grow our FFA around our area, including Maple Valley, Valley City, BCN and Litchville/ Marion,” Persons continues, “We want to become more involved in all the schools.”
The group shared that there is one thing required, agricultural wise in FFA, you need to take at least one ag class per school year for grades ninth through twelfth. Agricultural classes are offered at the Sheyenne Valley Career and Technology Center.
For more information about the Sheyenne Valley FFA Chapter you can contact either Madisyn Steckler at 701-8407502 or Darci Jewett at 701-490-4540.