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.

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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.

Submitted

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


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