The Ins and Outs of FFA

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Jenny Pfeifer, Journalist

Are you involved in any part of FFA?

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The idea behind FFA is to develop kid’s leadership skills, give them personal growth, and hopefully lead that into teaching them a career; whether it’s related to agriculture or not”

— Ag teacher Celeste Morino

      There is a misconception that FFA is only for farmers and ranchers, but this is simply not true. Of course, FFA is an amazing opportunity for farmers and ranchers, yet there is a whole new side that people do not often see. FFA (Future Farmers of America) is a national leadership organization based around the Agriculture (Ag) Industry. It is not only a great community for learning, but also for meeting new people and forming new friendships. 

     At Ripon High, there are four pathways that students can take if interested in the Ag Industry: Agriscience, Ag Mechanics, Plant/Soil Science, and Ag Business. 

     “The idea behind FFA is to develop kid’s leadership skills, give them personal growth, and hopefully lead that into teaching them a career; whether it’s related to agriculture or not,” stated ag teacher Celeste Morino. 

     When a part of FFA, there are some requirements that need to be met. One requirement is having two activity points by the end of each quarter. Students have many opportunities to get their activity points by going to Chapter meetings, participating in contests, or even helping with certain FFA events. Activity points are also earned through the Career Development Events (CDE) and Leadership Development Events (LDE). These activities are competitions that give students the opportunity to compete against local schools or even students from all over the nation. Some of the LDE and CDE include poultry judging, ag mechanics team, vegetable crop judging, impromptu speaking competition, job interview, and a variety more teams to choose from.

     “I enjoy the experience of raising animals because it builds up my responsibility and work ethic,” said sophomore Amanda Veltkamp.

     Another requirement as an FFA member is to complete an SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience) which is a project that’s purpose is to have students keep records and show responsibility. A common SAE project is raising animals for fairs or Ag Fest. There are also many others such as propagating succulents, making things by hand, working in a veterinarian clinic, working for someone who is in the ag industry, owning an agriculture business, mowing lawns, etc.

     “Some opportunities that we are actually going to have coming soon is having students working at the greenhouse and the chicken coop or our poultry unit which includes the chicken coop and egg processing facilities,” explained ag teacher Danielle Hyatt.

     Along with hands-on classes, there is the opportunity to show you leadership skills. Every chapter, or every school with an agriculture department, there is a team of six members who make up the Chapter FFA Officer Team. This year the President is Ean Richards, Vice President is Macie McPeak, Secretary is Cassidy Morton, Treasurer is Kyle Blankenship, the Reporter is Emma Ayers, and the Sentinel is Hailey Knief. This team is responsible for FFA activities at Ripon High, but the leadership responsibilities do not stop there. You can be an officer on a sectional level, regional level, state level, and even a national level. With FFA as long as you are willing to work hard and persevere, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

     “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve,” FFA motto.