The saying “Small But Mighty” perfectly describes the Kaycee FFA Chapter. Through hard work, community involvement, and chapter dedication, the Kaycee FFA chapter received the 2019 Wyoming Chapter of the Year award this April. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Kaycee FFA Chapter is in their numbers. Although limited in resources, they make up for it with their big hearts and big goals.
When you think of a small school, you probably think of your own small-town high school. What if I told you that Kaycee High School only has 44 students? Does that beat your small school? It does mine. However, that is not the most unique part. Of those 44 students, 34 of them are FFA members — 77 percent of the student body is involved in FFA!
In order to qualify for the Chapter of the Year award, the Kaycee FFA Chapter had to put in a lot of time and hard work. The students were precise while planning and setting their goals throughout the year.
Kaycee FFA Advisor Rose McGivney said, “We focused this year on setting good goals that were SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based. The kids had to plan their activities, instead of just doing something. Throughout the year and with their hard work, the students were able meet the goals.”
In addition to setting goals, the Kaycee FFA Chapters had the support of their whole community. Kaycee, Wyoming, is a large ranching community. Students have the ability to receive hands on experience and learn the tricks of the trade by helping the ranchers in their community. It is a give-and-take relationship between the chapter and the community; they are there for each other when the other needs help.
On top of receiving hands-on experience, Rose believes in the importance of students having an agricultural experience, even if they won’t end up directly in the agriculture field. “Not everyone in my ag class will pursue a future directly in agriculture. My hope is they at least leave from an ag class here in Kaycee and be an advocate for agriculture.” We need just as many advocates as we do farmers and ranchers in today’s society.
Not only do students learn more about agriculture, but they also work on their organizational and leadership skills. The FFA members organized a haunted hay ride for their community. In a big effort to reach out to middle school kids, they chapter wanted to provide an activity for those who were too old to trick or treat but still wanted to participate in a Halloween activity. The event was free and open to the whole community.
Not only does the Kaycee FFA Chapter believe in giving back to their community but also to strangers who need a little pick me up. The chapter teamed up with Operation Gratitude: Through this organization, the students were able to send letters to soldiers overseas during the Christmas season. Rose said this was a great opportunity for the students to show their respect while giving the soldiers some holiday cheer and love from back home.
Through hard work and community involvement, the Kaycee FFA Chapter has showed it doesn’t matter how big or small you are, it just takes one person to make a difference.
Rose is proud of being from a 1A school and receiving the state award. Unlike many sports programs, FFA is not ranked by numbers. Everyone is on a level playing field, whether you have 10 or 1000 students in your district. Even more impressive, this is not their first time receiving the Wyoming Chapter of the Year award. With the same recognition in 2010, 2014, and now 2019, we can see what the future has in store for the Kaycee FFA Chapter.
Rose, who has been teaching at the Kaycee High School for 15 years said, “I think we have a great group of kids who are really well rounded. They are involved in so much. I think our chapter is lucky that we have a school that supports our FFA Chapter like they do. It is ‘cool’ to be in the FFA Chapter in Kaycee.”