Wyoming FFA Celebrated on Sept. 26Written by Jennifer Womack
By Jennifer Womack, Wyoming FFA Foundation Executive Director
With membership nearing 2,500 and communities, like Green River, adding new chapters, there’s much to celebrate!
It’s been said that experience is life’s greatest teacher. Wyoming FFA is built upon this idea, encouraging our state’s young leaders to experience careers, test their entrepreneurial skills and set and achieve important goals while they’re still in high school. Lessons learned have a lifelong impact.
We at the Wyoming FFA Foundation aren’t alone in our excitement about Wyoming FFA. The program continues to gain the attention of individuals, communities and schools statewide. Membership has nearly reached 2,500, a new chapter started this school year in Green River, and efforts are underway to bring the program to more Wyoming communities.
Each April, the Wyoming FFA Association – our sister organization – hosts Wyoming’s largest youth gathering. Over 1,500 attend the annual convention. While the main focus is often on the convention sessions, students participate in public speaking events and Career Development Events, attend a career fair and participate in enrichment workshops. It’s four days jam-packed with personal growth opportunities for Wyoming’s most motivated young leaders.
In the coming weeks, Wyoming FFA’s nine-member Wyoming State Officer Team will begin traveling the state, visiting local chapters and members. They’ll conduct leadership workshops, speak to classes and partake in activities with members across the state. They’ll learn about the positive impact FFA chapters and individual members are having across the state. They’ll leave behind words of encouragement and inspiration for younger FFA members.
This November in Fremont County, FFA members from across the state will gather for industry tours, enhanced ag knowledge and leadership workshops and training. The Foundation hosts an annual tour, believing that the best leaders are well informed about industry, agriculture and those things important to our day-to-day lives. During Finding Inspiration and Reaching Excellence (F.I.R.E.) and the Chapter Presidents Conference (CPC), hosted by the FFA Association, students are again encouraged to strive for important goals and be positive, active members of their communities.
Students leave the FFA program destined for all walks of life. As I recount recent graduates, I can think of farmers, ranchers, attorneys, accountants, a moviemaker and a college teacher. While their chosen career paths take them far and wide, I know they enter the workforce and society with appreciation and understanding for American agriculture. As I think of the of the 610,240 FFA members who belong to one of 7,665 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, I’m thankful that appreciation for agriculture is being spread far and wide. I’m equally thankful for the leadership training as I look among them and see individuals I someday hope to see leading our state and nation.
As you can see, we at the Wyoming FFA Foundation have a lot to be excited about. Each and every day we have the opportunity to see FFA making a positive difference in the young lives around us. We’re able to enhance this impact by investing in classroom infrastructure, scholarships, leadership training, tours, career fairs and more. We also ensure that every Wyoming FFA member has the opportunity to own an FFA jacket embroidered with his or her own name. Expectations accompany wearing the jacket. As members zip up their blue jacket, they learn important life lessons like professional dress, representing oneself and one’s organization with pride and the importance of being a part of something larger than oneself.
On Sept. 26 in Torrington, the Wyoming FFA Foundation and Torrington-Lingle FFA are teaming up to host the annual Blue Jeans Ball. This event allows those of us who support the program to come together and celebrate what’s right with America’s youth. It’s events like this, and supporters like you, that allow the Foundation to continue investing in FFA and the impact it has on Wyoming’s young people. Tickets are just $50 each and include a prime rib dinner, a great auction, a dance and some time with Wyoming FFA’s finest. We hope you’ll join us in this celebration of the Wyoming FFA and the growing number of outstanding young people who belong to the organization.