By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter
Ohio FFA has 33 three-star chapters to be recognized at the 93rd National FFA Convention and Expo. This award is the highest ranking a chapter can achieve and recognizes outstanding FFA chapters that are growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture.
The McClain FFA Chapter in Highland County is a three-star chapter being honored for the third year in a row.
“To our chapter receiving the three-star chapter award is a huge deal,” said Maysun Faulconer, 2020-2021 McClain FFA Reporter. “We are honored and very proud of our officer teams who have worked hard and paved the way for our chapter to reach its goals.”
To become a three-star chapter, McClain sets goals, improves events, uses the National Quality FFA Chapter Standards and outlines a program of activities. For each event, the chapter sets goals, outlines the process to achieve the goals and then executes the event. Once the event is over, chapter members reevaluate the event and document the changes they would like to have for the next year.
Faulconer shared that through determination and teamwork the chapter reaches the goals they set.
“For each event we set an attendance goal. At the beginning of one of our events, we were checking people in and we only needed one more person to reach our goal,” Faulconer said. “We had been working hard to send reminders, hang up flyers all over the school and post on social media, so when we were able to encourage one more person to come over to our event, we were very excited!”
The chapter hosts a Greenhand Grill-Out to welcome its first-year members and encourages connections between new and current members through fun and leadership activities. Each year, the chapter also plans a Christmas party for all its members. Members work on metal projects, woodworking projects and painting projects.
“This event allows members to diversify their skills, relax and have some fun with other chapter members,” Faulconer said.
The chapter also actively competes in career development events (CDEs) such as Food Science, Job Interview, Livestock Judging and Ag Sales.
“We have competed in the Food Science CDE several times but 2019 was the first year we qualified for the state contest,” Faulconer said. “This was the first time in our chapter’s history of competing at the state level in food science, so we were really excited.”
Through the COVID-19 pandemic the chapter stayed connected through a virtual banquet and shared updates for members and parents on the McClain FFA social media accounts. As National Convention is also being hosted virtually this year, McClain has planned a fun-filled week for members to celebrate the FFA and their chapter accomplishments.
“This year to celebrate our chapter is planning to watch the sessions during class and on Wednesday we are hosting a huge lunch,” Faulconer said. “We also have a community service event planned, student appreciation gifts to hand out, and some fun activities and tournaments planned for members.”
Faulconer is currently a senior at McClain high school and has been involved in the chapter four years. His favorite memories are from the relationships and events the chapter hosts.
“From freshman year at National Convention all the way up through my senior year, our chapter has a really strong bond,” Faulconer said. “I have never felt disconnected or unimportant. The officer teams before me, the advisors and all of our supporters have always been very encouraging and supportive and it’s like we truly are a FFAmily.”