Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FFA Member of the Week: Unlocking Potential

Name: Kayla Overland
FFA Chapter: Albert Lea
Year in School: Sophomore
Favorite Color: TealFun Fact: Kayla has been shooting bow and arrow since she was just five years old! In her second year of firearms hunting season, she shot her first deer which was an eight-point buck.

This Albert Lea FFA member first got started in FFA because of her her father and two older brothers - they were in FFA and always talked about how much fun the organization was. She has stuck with FFA from the get-go because she knows it will make her grow into a greater person each day as a result of all of the different opportunities she has. 

Kayla’s is in her second year of high school FFA activities after attending state convention last year to compete in Creed Speaking and participating in State Greenhand Leadership Conference this summer. She’s also been involved in a lot of chapter activities including working at their county fair food stand and showing at state fair.
This Albert Lea social butterfly’s favorite part of FFA is by far getting to meet so many new people, traveling, and seeing people from all over the country knowing that every person has a common connection, they are all FFA members.
Kayla credits FFA with shaping her into a leader and unlocking potential that she didn’t realize she had. Kayla now realizes that there are endless possibilities with the opportunities in FFA, even after FFA. She holds onto the skills she learns in FFA because Kayla knows they will come in handy later in life. 

Kayla gives back to FFA by volunteering at the chapter level. She helps out in anyway possible with the FFA advisor or chapter officers if they need any volunteers to help plan or work at different activities. Kayla made a difference in agricultural education this past spring when some of the members in her chapter and her took animals to the Albert Lea elementary area schools. They taught the students about animals on the farm as well as animals used for other purposes. The Albert Lea FFA members and Kayla brought in a lizard, a calf, some puppies, chicks, and a kitten - Kayla enjoyed seeing the elementary students light up with the knowledge they gained that day in school.
Even though Kayla’s just a sophomore, she has an idea of what she wants to do later in her life. Kayla would like to go to Minnesota State University or Iowa State University. She is really interested in agriculture - specifically veterinary science and animal genetics. Kayla has a bright future ahead of her as an FFA member. Congratulations Kayla on FFA member of the week, keep staying involved with the Albert Lea FFA chapter!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

FFA Member of the Week: Cat Facts and Ryan Facts

Name: Ryan Peterson
FFA Chapter: Hutchinson
Year in School: Junior
Favorite Color: Green
Fun Fact: I love to hunt and fish.
Favorite Cat Fact: Cats have a self-righting reflex, this is why they land on their feet.

Ryan first got started into agricultural education by first taking a companion animals class in 9th grade, then he decided to try the poultry evaluation career development events. Ryan was drawn to the organization by a personal drive to learn more about FFA, the different aspects of agriculture, and also gain friendships that are typically developed within FFA.

As a member of the Hutchinson FFA chapter, Ryan has been involved with both the poultry evaluation and parliamentary procedure CDE teams. He’s also been an active participant in many chapter activities such as the Hutchinson FFA Fall Color 5K Run, Farm Products and Safety Day, and a petting zoo for younger elementary students.

Ryan’s favorite part of FFA so far has definitely been meeting people who have the same passion for agriculture, and then also meeting new people who he know will become his lifelong friends. A fun fact about Ryan is that he loves to make new friends by informing them about cat facts! He’s had the opportunity to attend both state and national FFA conventions, meet tons of people by attending these conventions, and this year he will have the privilege to serve his FFA chapter as president!

To make an impact on the community through agricultural education, Ryan participates in every event that FFA offers to the community. One of his passions is educating students and community members in Hutchinson about agriculture through outreach activities and programs that the chapter performs.

Besides just the community being up to date on what the FFA chapter is up to, Ryan also helps the local alumni understand what activities are happening with Hutchinson’s agricultural education department.

Growing is important for individuals and chapters in FFA, and Ryan has encouraged growth for his chapter by bringing back the chapter’s corn drive and Farmer Appreciation Day at a local cooperative in which all proceeds benefitted Camp Courage.

Not only has Ryan helped shape his chapter tremendously by investing time into many of the local activities and promoting what FFA is doing, but he also credits the organization with shaping him too, “FFA has helped me developed many of my leadership skills as well as many lifelong skills that will help me as I work towards my future career.” A future career is one of the ultimate goals of our organization, and Ryan is attesting to that statement.

When thinking about future plans down the road, Ryan would like to set off on two different paths or both paths at the same time - being the next generation to help run the family farm and/or becoming a veterinarian. Good luck to Ryan on his future endeavors as a very involved FFA chapter member, and congratulations on being selected as FFA member of the week!

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!