FFA

How one FFA member’s death brought chapters together

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When tragedy strikes, the world feels like it comes to an end. When these events happen in our own lives, we lean on family and friends for support. When such a tragedy happened to the Greenup FFA Chapter, they were able to lean on their FFA-mily. 

On March 20, Madison Blair — a senior at Greenup County High School in Kentucky — was in a single car accident. According to the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, “The driver lost control and left the roadway. The vehicle struck a tree and came to final rest in a ditch. Rolling Fork Fire and Nelson County EMS rendered aid on scene with the Sheriff Office.

“Madison was transported to Flaget ER by Nelson County EMS. She was declared deceased at Flaget Hospital.” 

Blair was an honor student, had a strong work ethic, and was the president of the Greenup FFA Chapter — FFA was her passion according to her family, friends, and advisor. In addition to being Chapter President she held positions including Chapter Secretary, Regional Vice-President
and Regional Treasurer. Some of her other accomplishments included second place in Regional Creed Speaker, first in Regional Prepared Public Speaking, a District Winner for Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Youth Contest, and third in State Equine Science Placement Proficiency — s
he never let an opportunity pass her by.

In a post on Facebook, the Greenup FFA Chapter said, “Deeply grieving and mourning the loss of Chapter President and Big Sandy Regional VP, Madison Blair. Though she be but small, she was fierce. Her passion for FFA and agriculture were as strong as her work ethic. An accomplished barrel racer and public speaker, Madison gave 100% to everything she did. For someone so small in stature, she leaves behind a huge void.”

In their time of need, the Greenup FFA Chapter looked to other FFA chapters for help. One of her fellow FFA members, Taylor Pope, made one simple post on Facebook asking for support: “She was the most caring and giving person you’d ever meet, she never spoke ill of anyone or anything. When she participated in anything she gave her all to it. My local chapter and surrounding will be wearing anything FFA or our FFA jackets.” She invited anyone who wanted to join in support of Blair and the chapter.

After seeing that request, FFA chapters across the country embraced the Greenup FFA Chapter and showed them the love and support from their FFA-mily. Under her post, Pope received hundreds of comments and reactions from FFA members all across the country. However, even more moving was the number of FFA chapters that dressed in National Blue and Corn Gold for Blair — her favorite colors.

For example, Sydney Turley from Illinois, said, “As President of the Northwestern chapter, my chapter and I are deeply saddened to hear the loss of a fellow FFA member. As an all female officer team we know the sisterhood that is formed and we know that the Kentucky chapter will forever miss their president. Our condolences are out to you and your chapter.” 

Turley continued, “The unbreakable bond that is made from being a part of this family is crazy. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Knowing that our family has lost a member has hurt me in unimaginable ways to myself. I love you all.” 

Ashlyn Patterson with the South Carolina FFA Association said, “On behalf of the South Carolina FFA Association and my fellow state officers, we send our condolences along with our prayers to Madison’s family, school, and loved ones. We know she made a positive impact on FFA in her years as a member and because of that, we are sharing a picture of us in OD [official dress] to honor her. Rest In Peace.”

The Chester-Joplin-Inverness FFA Chapter in Montana also supported the FFA members from afar. “The CJI FFA Chapter put on our Montana FFA gear today to show our love and support for the Greenup County FFA Chapter as they are going through a difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys!”

These examples were just a handful of the chapters that reached out and showed their support. However, surrounding FFA chapters were not the only ones wanting to support Madison Blair and her community. Bloom, a FFA fundraising service that raises money for local FFA chapters and state grants, is hosting an online fundraiser with all the proceeds going back to the Greenup FFA Chapter to help pay for the memorial cost and any expenses associated with it. 

In addition to supporting the memorial fund, Bloom will provide a free membership to the FFA Travel & Savings digital coupon app to all supporters who donate $10 or more through the site. Savings can be utilized anywhere a supporter goes nationwide simply by utilizing the mobile app. Check out even more perks here. To donate to the Madison Blair memorial, visit the special website from Bloom here.

While the National FFA Organization helps young members with their passion for agriculture, it has a much larger impact on students, alumni, and advisors. Blair was the perfect example of an active member, and those who are shining a light on her legacy are the perfect example the FFA-mily 

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