FFA chapters across the country just finished celebrating National FFA Week. The Caney FFA Chapter in Kansas celebrates FFA every week! The Caney FFA Chapter has 96 members who work hard to be pillars of their community.
Advisor for Caney FFA, Kimber Kiersey, said she was very proud of her members for being involved in their community, their passion for agriculture, and helping others. This year the Caney community was hit with a terrible accident that directly affected a member of their chapter.
A member of the Caney FFA, Jalen Bush, was in a car accident in October. The crash left the young man paralyzed, and his FFA family was there to do anything they could to help. The chapter jumped in to raise money for the family and to build a new wheelchair accessible house.
To raise money, the chapter put together floral arrangements created by the FFA members and their experience with the greenhouse. They also just hosted a benefit which included a meal and a silent auction. The auction included items donated by community members and FFA members volunteering to work for donations.
Kimber took to social media to help spread the word about the benefit. It was a great outlet to get help from the community, organize the students, but also to raise money. The advisor went live on Facebook during the silent auction in order to allow those who could not make the event to still be involved. This was a great opportunity to reach those far and wide who wanted to help. Kimber said the auction was a big success and credited that to the supportive community and hard work of the students.
In an effort to continue the growth of the Caney FFA Chapter, they put their members first. They pick the best leadership for the chapter, not based on seniority. The youngest officer is a sophomore. Kimber said, “We really push, regardless of what grade you are in, if you have the leadership qualities that help impact the chapter and the community, we want you on the officer team. It is whoever can be the most unbiased, most impactful leader – that is who we want.”
The Caney FFA Chapter focuses on member inclusion and how to engage every student. Kimber added, “We try to do things that involve every single member. We don’t have any activities, besides the officer’s retreat, that are just for the officers. We make sure everyone feels welcomed and that they are involved.”
With such a small community, the FFA chapter tries to be involved in every way they can. Through community service opportunities such as visiting the local nursing home and the community garden, the students learn to be involved and to make a difference. The community garden, which FFA takes care of, gives the community the option to have fresh vegetables and fruits for free since Caney does not have a grocery store with those fresh options.
In addition to helping the community, the FFA members are also invested in the future of their community. During National FFA Week they put on a Kiddie Barn for over 300 kids in community. This gives the FFA members an opportunity to interact with younger students by showing their passion and knowledge for agriculture.
Kimber praised the chapter saying, “Our chapter does an excellent job on giving 110%. Everything from judging to community involvement, the students give 110%. These students have a true passion for agriculture. The kids put forth effort in every aspect to improve themselves and make an impact.”