FFA chapters all over the country hope to change their member’s lives for the better. Perhaps the most important characteristic every advisor wishes to instill in their students is the capability to care. Care about their peers, care about their studies, care about their community, but mostly care for themselves. That is exactly what the St. Francis FFA Chapter in Kansas has accomplished.
While speaking to the chapter reporter, Marlo Jensen, her passion for FFA and the community shines through. The chapter has taken a personal approach to better their community while also molding respectable young adults.
One thing the St. Francis FFA Chapter prides themselves on is their dedication to their members and their community. Marlo said, “We are really good about always helping around the community with volunteer work.” In a small town, community relationship is vital.
Marlo continued, “We are one big family. We all get along and we help each other out. We help each other study and we write each other encouraging notes.” This really helps overall moral of the chapter and encourages members to try new things.
One way the chapter pushes their members to expand their horizons is participating in new events. Marlo explained, “During CDEs we encourage every member to try new things. The older members help guide the younger members throughout the process. We always try to encourage the younger members. It is okay to be scared and nervous during your first event.” The most important part of trying something new isn’t how well you do, it is the fact that you tried.
A big part of the cultivating a young chapter is Greenhand involvement. Marlo said as a Greenhand she wanted to compete in every event possible and their chapter encourages young members to have that same drive and determination when starting something new.
After all their hard work, the St. Francis FFA Chapter has seen success in competitions. They recently placed 4th as a group at the speech contest. Every member has their own strengths and weaknesses to help contribute to the success of the group.
After a successful year of events and competitions, the St. Francis FFA chapter host an awards ceremony. During the FFA awards ceremony, each officer takes a group of students to plan the whole event. They make sure every member has a role and can be there to help. They take each member into consideration to help plan the event, so it is truly a member run organization. When members have an active role, they take pride in their actions.
A huge part of FFA success is through community involvement. Throughout the year, the Saint Francis FFA Chapter helps their community with different events. Marlo said, “During Christmas we participated in the Angel Tree to help the community. Easter we also helped hide eggs for the younger members of the community.”
Perhaps the most favorite event for the chapter is the Living Farm. Throughout this event the FFA members have different stations of agriculture and get to teach the next generation the importance of ag. Preschool through second graders in the community attend the event to learn more about life on the farm with the people in their community.
Marlo wraps up perfectly what FFA has done for her. “FFA has made me more confident to talk in front of people. It has made me look at what I say and write before I just go with it. It has prepared me to realize that, just because you are not a farmer or not in 4-H, you can still be in FFA. FFA is a big part of my life.”