Wednesday, September 11, 2013

FFA Member of the Week: One Year Later...

Name: Abbey Weninger 
FFA Chapter: Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) 
Year in School: 11th Grade
 Favorite Color: Teal
 Fun Fact: I sold $5,500 worth of fruit last year for fruit sales for our chapter.

Just this past year, Abbey transferred to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted after witnessing her dad teach the local agricultural education program for the last 30 years, finally giving her the opportunity to be an FFA member.

The HLWW FFA chapter is well known for being well known not only at the state level in Career Development Events, but also at the national level - Abbey wanted to be a part of that experience. The three factors that drew Abbey into the organization the most was 1. the fun and excitement everyone was having in FFA, 2. the leadership roles, and 3. the endless amount of opportunities available to FFA members.

Last year, Abbey was able to compete at the National FFA Convention in both novice parliamentary procedure and agriculture communications.  A little known fact about this is that Abbey replaced a team member that couldn’t make it to convention just weeks before the competition, and she ended up placing 4th as an individual! In the fall, Abbey looks forward to competing again at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, but this time in parliamentary procedure.
Abbey’s favorite part of FFA thus far is all of the memories she has gained and will continue to make. She loves all of the people she meets in FFA, and she met a lot of friends this year while attending the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders in July.

When talking about the things she’s gained from FFA, Abbey told us, “There is nothing close to the experiences you have in FFA. I have gained a new circle of friends, confidence, work ethic, and leadership skills. There is no way I could list all of the things I have gained from FFA because they are never ending. FFA has helped created the person I am today.”

Although Abbey has gained some exceptional skills from FFA, her local chapter has benefitted greatly from her organizational skills as the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA secretary, and it will continue to benefit during this school year as she plays out her role as a chapter FFA officer.

Now Abbey is giving back to her community too. Last year, she was given the privilege to manage the school’s one-acre garden. She quickly developed a contract to sell CSA shares to members of the community. CSA shares are also known as community-supported agriculture shares which people can buy at the start of the growing season and then receive a portion of the harvest back as it comes in. Community members can buy a share for just $200, and they are guaranteed 14 weeks of produce, and they can also buy eggs or delivery for an additional cost! Abbey helped manage 20 CSA shares for the garden with the help of other members in her chapter throughout the entire summer.

In her chapter, Abbey has helped to start a mentor program this year that will hopefully engage more member participation. Additionally, Abbey will work to compile and publish her chapter’s newsletter written by the chapter officer team every month.

In her FFA future, Abbey can definitely picture herself running again for chapter office and even trying to obtain a region officer position this year. In her career future, Abbey thinks she may end up giving back and joining the National Guard, and attending college for an agriculture-related major. 

After just one year with FFA, Abbey is doing a phenomenal job in her agricultural education program. Thank you Abbey for all of the hard work you put into your FFA chapter, and good luck with all of the activities you will be a part of this year!

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