FFA takes ag-education into the 21st century

From left, Chris Crane, Sydney Crouch, Hannah Johnson, Hayden Bachman, Lauren Sorrell and Sasha McCue represented Housatonic Valley FFA with a floral demonstration booth at the Eastern States Exposition last year. FFA chapters across the country will celebrate National FFA Week from Feb. 17 to 24. This annual event is a time to highlight the impact of the program on its members.


FFA takes ag-education into the 21st century

FALLS VILLAGE — The National FFA Organization is developing the next generation of leaders.

Each year, FFA chapters around the country celebrate National FFA Week. It’s a time to share what FFA is and the impact it has on members every day.

The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA helps members discover their talent through hands-on experiences, which give members the tools to achieve real-world success.

A combined 850,823 students from throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have chosen to be a part of FFA. Of those members,116 are from our chapter. Each year these numbers grow as more young people become a part of the organization. FFA was chartered in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America.

The organization changed its name from the Future Farmers of America to the National FFA Organization. The name changed because FFA is not only for future farmers, but it is for any and all students despite what their plans are for the future. It is an organization that provides countless opportunities and develops leadership skills that can carry over to all careers.

Housatonic Valley FFA (HVFFA) members are involved in local, statewide and national events throughout the year. This past summer, students attended the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC), the Sound School chapter exchange, and the Alumni Picnic hosted at Laurelbrook Farm. While at WLC, students spent the week with fellow FFA members from all over the U.S. to develop leadership skills and ways to help their community.

This summer, HVFFA partnered with the Sound School in New Haven for a chapter exchange program. Members from our chapter were invited on a deep fishing excursion, and in exchange, we gave their chapter members a tour of agriculture in our part of the state. The Housatonic Valley FFA Alumni Association sponsors both of these summer activities.

HVFFA also has many activities and events throughout the school year to help members learn and grow. Students prepare for and compete in numerous state competitions called Career Development Events (CDEs) and Leadership Development Events (LDEs). This past November, the Ag Communications team (Anne Moran, Simon Markow, Hannah Johnson and Chris Crane) and Creed speaker (Riley Mahaffey) competed at the National FFA Convention representing Connecticut.

In addition, students attend IMAGE, COLT, JLC, State FFA Convention, and the National FFA Convention. We give back to our community by helping with the Falls Village Car Show, volunteering at the Big E and the Goshen Fair, and sponsoring a rabies clinic over the summer.

HVFFA chapter members are looking forward to spring competitions, conferences and our annual ag open house. We appreciate all the ways that the community supports our program.

Lauren Sorrell is a student reporter at HVRHS and a member of HVFFA.


Melanie Rundall and Tyler Anderson worked at the FFA Holiday Store at HVRHS this past winter.

Latest News

Robert J. Pallone

NORFOLK — Robert J. Pallone, 69, of Perkins Street passed away April 12, 2024, at St. Vincent Medical Center. He was a loving, eccentric CPA. He was kind and compassionate. If you ever needed anything, Bob would be right there. He touched many lives and even saved one.

Bob was born Feb. 5, 1955, in Torrington, the son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Pallone.

Keep ReadingShow less
The artistic life of Joelle Sander

"Flowers" by the late artist and writer Joelle Sander.

Cornwall Library

The Cornwall Library unveiled its latest art exhibition, “Live It Up!,” showcasing the work of the late West Cornwall resident Joelle Sander on Saturday, April 13. The twenty works on canvas on display were curated in partnership with the library with the help of her son, Jason Sander, from the collection of paintings she left behind to him. Clearly enamored with nature in all its seasons, Sander, who split time between her home in New York City and her country house in Litchfield County, took inspiration from the distinctive white bark trunks of the area’s many birch trees, the swirling snow of Connecticut’s wintery woods, and even the scenic view of the Audubon in Sharon. The sole painting to depict fauna is a melancholy near-abstract outline of a cow, rootless in a miasma haze of plum and Persian blue paint. Her most prominently displayed painting, “Flowers,” effectively builds up layers of paint so that her flurry of petals takes on a three-dimensional texture in their rough application, reminiscent of another Cornwall artist, Don Bracken.

Keep ReadingShow less
A Seder to savor in Sheffield

Rabbi Zach Fredman

Zivar Amrami

On April 23, Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield will host “Feast of Mystics,” a Passover Seder that promises to provide ecstasy for the senses.

“’The Feast of Mystics’ was a title we used for events back when I was running The New Shul,” said Rabbi Zach Fredman of his time at the independent creative community in the West Village in New York City.

Keep ReadingShow less