As many FFA advisors will tell you, FFA is a student-lead organization. With students being the leaders, it allows their experience to be unique and one they can be proud of. With 66 members, the Clay Center FFA Chapter leads by example. During a video interview, the officers showed their passion for agriculture and their community.
The students realized one of the most important aspects of their chapter stems back to the community. The officer team said, “Our community supports our chapter a lot and we do a lot of various community service activities. We have been working together with the community for a long time now, I feel like there has been a rich history of ag education in our school system.”
Community service is a pillar of FFA. The Clay Center FFA Chapter empowers the act of service in many ways. One example, they put on a soup supper this year. This free-will donation meal was held during a Christmas parade. The proceeds of the event went towards the new zoo being built in their community. In addition, the chapter members wrote a Thank You letter to farmers and delivered the letters to six different co-ops to show their appreciation for everything they do in their local community.
One way the FFA members are present in the community is during sporting events. The chapter sold ear tags with Clay Center FFA printed on them. Parents and family members bought ear tags that can be presented during football games for one free bag of popcorn. This not only helped out the chapter, but also gave an opportunity to get others involved.
Another presence Clay Center FFA Chapter has is with the younger generation. The FFA chapter puts on a Farm Safety Day were many of the older chapter members have their own station. Some stations include: PTO safety, drones, how to dress for the farm, and animal safety. The members said, “It is a day that the 4th and 5th graders come down to learn more about agriculture. They are able to learn about many different aspects of the farm.” The chapter was able to reach 120 middle school students last year.
Like most chapters, the officer team is trying to get more students involve and expand their membership. One of the many ways the chapter is trying to grow their members includes the new school schedule. In their school, they have an hour built in for extra time to either study or become more involved in their extracurricular activities. The chapter had changed their meeting time to that hour to work around more schedules.
One step the chapter took to give mores students a role was implementing committees to take more of a lead in the chapter. This resulted in giving a voice to every member. The team said, “Since we started the committees, the members felt more relaxed to bring up issues to the officers and advisors. This resulted in more enthusiasm towards their projects and CDEs.
The chapter is most excited about their “greenhands,” also known as first-year FFA students. “They are so happy to do every CDE, they signed up for all of them. They put in SO much work to do good in those CDE’s. I feel like they are inspired and willing to continue throughout FFA all four years of high school. They are willing to lead the chapters in upcoming years.”
The Clay Center FFA Chapter is proud of everything they have accomplished and can’t wait to see where their chapter goes in the future. With the help of their alumni and community they have been able to do very well in district, state, and national competitions. One of their graduates competed at Nationals and was one of the last nominees for the Vet Science Proficiency Award. The FFA experience is so rewarding especially when you put in so much hard work, it makes the reward that much more worth it.