Digging into FFA


Chapter Officers – photo credited to Ripon FFA

Leslie Diaz-Guerrero, Journalist

The Ag students, or Future Farmers of America (FFA), have been working hard to create events for all those involved in the program. For anyone unfamiliar with the program, FFA is an organization on the Ripon High campus that is dedicated to support students through agriculture education and leadership. The program has a variety of events throughout the year and has a wide range of ways anyone could get involved. Those who are interested in Ag could join one of the four programs offered: Agriscience, Ag Mechanics, Plant/Soil Science, and Ag Business.

There is often misinterpretation that one has to be interested in being a farmer to be a part of the FFA but the program offers much more for students interested in different career pathways. There are also many activities created to bond with others interested in the program like the annual Welcome Back Activity that took place on Aug. 30 in the amphitheater. FFA students could stop by to enjoy some shaved ice, participate in yard games, and could join in on the slip and slide. Students who attended could also attain one activity point, which is a required part of the program for each semester.

“The welcome activity we had was a blast,” says FFA Chapter President Dawson Donrich, junior. “Shay Cunningham (senior) and I chaired the event and thanks to our leadership team we were able to carry out one of the most successful welcome back activities we’ve had over the years. The overall chapter involvement was also great to see.”

Every month the program has chapter meetings in which topics such as upcoming events, past events, expenses, and more are discussed. The meetings are held every first Tuesday of the month during lunch where lunch is also provided. These meetings are worth one activity point and are counted towards the 2 activity points required per quarter. Another thing to look forward to in the year is the National Convention held at Indianapolis, Indiana. FFA members from all over the nation come and convene together at the convention center where there are activities such as career shows, booths from various companies and organizations. 

FFA is a fun way to get involved further if you are interested in agriculture, retaining leadership skills, and most importantly creating friendships. Students interested in being more involved with the program can be a part of the Chapter FFA Officer Team. This team is composed of six students and they are in charge of all that has to do with FFA.  Along with Donrich as president, the 2022-23 year chapter officers include Vice President Hailey Knief, senior; Sentinel Manual Cortez, senior; Reporter Alyssa Manchester, junior; Treasurer Maryn Brenner, junior; and Secretary Madison Hendley, junior. 

“My favorite aspect of the program is that the Ag department gives so many opportunities in high school and that no matter who you are, you can walk into the Ag department and feel welcomed,” states Knief.