Community Agriculture Alliance: Soroco FFA members experience leadership at national level
The Soroco FFA Chapter recently spent a week in Indianapolis with 67,000 other FFA members and advisors participating in the National FFA Convention and Expo. Taylore Schalnus and Warren Hayes each received the highest degree in the FFA, the American FFA Degree. They joined an elite group of members that only comprise 0.5% of the membership to earn this degree.
In addition, Katie Olinger qualified for the National FFA Choir. Katie was one of 80 students to serve in this role. In cooperation with Kellie Turnipseed, the outstanding band and choir teacher at Soroco, she submitted audition videos and qualified in her first year. She spent a week performing with other members from around the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
FFA members heard from Secretary Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who often visits FFA chapters around our nation as he travels for USDA. World Champion Female Boxer Lila Ali spoke to members about goals and accomplishments and Vice President Pence. The National FFA Expo consisted of every major agriculture business, industry, and agriculture colleges from across the nation. Members learned about careers and spoke to colleges and trade schools from all over the United States.
The Soroco Chapter also visited Soroco FFA Alumni and Veterinarian Dr. Sam Schalnus DVM at Hagyard Equine Facility in Lexington, Kentucky. They received a tour of the largest Equine Medical Facility in North America, and spent a day at the Kentucky Horse Park learning about the equine industry.
In addition to great experiences and exposure to agriculture at a national level, Soroco FFA member Morgan George received the silver award nationally for her State Winning Diversified Livestock Proficiency. The Soroco Chapter received a single star for its qualifying National Chapter Award Application. To qualify the Chapter had to receive a gold emblem in the state placing them into the top 10 chapters in the state.
Soroco members have excelled this past year. The chapter consists of 47 members. Soroco FFA members are leaders in their school, community, state and nationally. Involvement in FFA starts by students enrolling in an agriculture education class. In addition to FFA leadership, content knowledge and skills taught in class, students create a supervised experience outside of the classroom. Students supervised agriculture experience (SAE) is either a job, or a business they create. The goal of SAE is that students apply knowledge learned through real-life career experiences. Students keep records of their financial investments and time in the experience. In 2016 Soroco FFA members SAE programs had an economic impact of over $250,000 in Routt County alone.
Soroco FFA members continue to be leaders in our school and community. Through agriculture education Soroco will continue to produce our agriculture leaders of tomorrow. Members appreciate all the assistance and support from our community and school.
This Community Agriculture Alliance column was written by the Soroco FFA Officer team.
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