Across the nation this week, FFA members will be holding events and engaging their communities in their chapters as part of the celebration of National FFA Week.
FFA Week gives members a chance to educate the public about agriculture. During the week, chapters host teacher appreciation breakfasts, conduct “Ag Olympics” competitions, speak to the public about agriculture, volunteer for community service projects and more.
The week of George Washington’s birthday was designated as National FFA Week in 1947 at a National FFA Board of Directors meeting. FFA Week always runs from Saturday to Saturday, and encompasses February 22, Washington’s birthday.
National FFA Week will be held from February 16‐23, 2013. This year’s theme is Grow, and it celebrates more than 80 years of FFA traditions while eagerly anticipating the organization’s future. More than 550,000 members nationwide will participate in National FFA Week activities at local, state and national levels. These members come from rural, suburban and urban environments and are interested in the diversity of careers within agriculture.
One in three Nebraskans is employed by agriculture, and FFA gives young adults the opportunities and knowledge that they need to succeed in the industry. Started in 1928, Nebraska was the sixth state to charter a FFA program. They currently have more than 6,600 members, located in 143 different chapters.
The state organization is led by the state officer team. The members of this team include Johnny Ference, Secretary, Ord FFA Chapter, Alix Mashino, President, West Boyd FFA Chapter, Maci Lienemann, Vice President, Norris FFA Chapter, Amber Burenheide, Vice President, Howells-Clarkson FFA Chapter, Brooke Jindra, Vice President, Leigh FFA Chapter, Andrew Ambriz, Vice President, West Point FFA Chapter and Doug Larsen, Vice President, Stuart FFA Chapter.
At the end of the week, the Nebraska FFA members will travel to Kearney, Neb., to take part in the made for excellence (MFE) and advanced leadership development (ALD) workshops. MFE is designed as a starting leadership conference for FFA members in 9th and 10th grade. ALD focuses on more advanced leadership training for 11th and 12th grades.
The conference starts on Friday evening with fun and engaging sessions with exciting presenters. There is a dance following and the conference continues throughout the day on Saturday.
The Nebraska FFA Association is currently growing, producing more opportunities for members. Nebraska FFA members and chapters will be honored for their accomplishments at the 85th Nebraska State FFA Convention held April 3-5, 2013, according to the Nebraska FFA Association. The convention will be at The Cornhusker Marriott, Pershing Center Auditorium and University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus.
Their website states, “FFA members, advisors and guests can support chapters and members receiving awards and listen to motivational speakers and state officer retiring addresses during convention sessions; be engaged in leadership workshops; watch students compete in Leadership Skills Events and attend the annual Career Fair. Students also participate in the State Career Development Events held on UNL’s East Campus.”
Throughout the year, FFA members can participate in many other leadership development opportunities. According to the Nebraska FFA website, “Nebraska FFA provides leadership development opportunities for members. These include: COLT Conference (Chapter Officer Leadership Training), PEAK Conference (Pursuing Excellence, Achievement and Knowledge), IMPACT Workshops, State Officer Chapter Visits and Made For Excellence/Advanced Leadership Development.”
FFA members are the innovators and leaders of tomorrow. Through agricultural education and hands‐on learning, they are preparing for the more than 300 career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industry.
Nebraska FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. ❖