While this week is a special time for Ohio FFA members to celebrate their involvement in the nation’s largest youth development organization, they spend the rest of the year just as busy. This year marked the highest ever national FFA membership since its founding in 1928, with more than 17 thousand new students joining the organization. This year, Ohio has been led by a dynamic team of state officers, who’ve helped to guide the activities of the state’s 24,000 members. Do you know Ohio’s FFA officer team? Get to know them!
Chapters across the state have achieved successes with tried and true, time tested activities as well as new innovations. While many chapters raised funds through traditional citrus fruit sales, the West Holmes FFA and the Ross FFA/Butler Tech Chapter held strawberry sales this winter. The Anthony-Wayne Chapter welcomed an exchange student from Australia with a passion for nutrition to the membership this year. The Ridgemont Chapter explored new ideas in using the Internet and technology this year, incorporating online meetings, iPads and a chapter Facebook page in their activities.
Chapters also dedicated time and attention to member development over the past year. The West Holmes Chapter held a Greenhand Lock-In which helped to prepare new members for success in their FFA careers. The Margaretta Chapter officers joined others from across the state in Columbus for the annual COLT Conference, which focuses on developing leadership and encouraging networking among chapter officers. Young women from the Colonel Crawford Chapter traveled to Columbus to join other female FFA members at the Promising Young Women Conference, a day-long seminar organized by Sigma Alpha, an agricultural sorority at Ohio State.
The Preble-Shawnee Chapter held a State Leadership Night, themed “The Power of Me, The Power of We.” Members of the Clermont North Eastern, Talawanda, and Edgewood FFA Chapters, as well as state officers Jessica Shanahan, Caitlyn Black, Caroline Weihl, and Shelby Faulkner attended the event. Ohio students also participated in the 212°/360° Leadership Conference, an activity of the National FFA Organization sponsored by Syngenta, Crop Production Services and CSX Corporation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Ohio FFA Chapters were kept busy outside of the state. The Mechanicsburg Chapter won the Grand Champion first place award in the “Weeding Out Hunger” video contest sponsored by Syngenta. Amy Jo Frost, past state president, did Ohio FFA proud as this year’s National Officer candidate. Amy Jo did a great job representing the state, making it to the final 20 candidates. Other members were also recognized for their accomplishments at the 2011 National FFA Convention, with five Ohioans winning National Proficiency Awards, the Ridgemont Chapter winning Models of Innovations in the chapter development category, and Ashley Siferd of the Cory Rawson Chapter winning the Agri-Entreprenuership award.
After such a busy and rewarding year, FFA members deserve a week of recognition! Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net salute Ohio’s FFA members for all the great work they do all year long.