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Column: District 518 marking National FFA week

By LAURA SCHUCK, For District 518

WORTHINGTON — FFA Week, Feb. 16-22, is a time to celebrate FFA activities and community support.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. This is the mission statement that the 7,570 FFA chapters nationwide strive to uphold every day. The Worthington chapter has approximately 90 members committed to giving back to their community and to learning about the value of agriculture.

The FFA teaches students skills they will use throughout their lives, such as responsibility, work ethic and leadership. The teams and activities offered to students throughout the year provide various opportunities to learn and develop these skills. FFA also teaches the value of our resources and how important it is that we manage them responsibly. Team-work is a big part of FFA, so communication and social skills are also improved through involvement.

Our chapter has been very involved in the community during the past year. Members participated in the “Little Farm Hands” program at the Minnesota State Fair in the fall. They taught kids at the State Fair about how agriculture produces the products they use every day, from clothing to food.

We also did our annual “Road Ditch Cleanup” along Highway 59/60, where we picked up trash in the ditch along the road that would otherwise pollute the environment. During harvest, we put together sack lunches that farmers could pick up at the local elevators. In December, members helped with the Christmas Basket program. Our two fundraisers, the fruit and butterbraid sales, and the grain drive at local elevators went well, and the money we raised helped us go to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.

Anyone can benefit from and join the FFA; living on a farm and owning animals are not requirements. After the early blizzard last October, our chapter sent cards and made a monetary donation to help the ranchers who lost livestock in western South Dakota. This is one of many philanthropic activities our chapter took on in order to give back to those in need. FFA gives students numerous opportunities to meet new people and to work together to promote agriculture.

I joined FFA because I wanted to learn more about agriculture. Since I have joined, I have participated in many activities that have pushed me out of my comfort zone. These activities, which include being a member of the Nursery and Landscape team, Best Informed Greenhand team and serving as a chapter officer, have helped me grow in my leadership and communications skills and have encouraged me to be-come a better person.

None of this would have been possible, however, if I wouldn’t have the support of the community and school district, and the guidance of the Worthington FFA advisors.

Laura Schuck is the Worthington FFA Reporter.