Local FFA leader learns new ideas to implement in community

SUBMITTED PHOTO Faith Lange of the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA chapter met with state FFA leaders at a leadership conference. From left are FFA State Secretary Elaine Dorn from Randolph, State Treasurer Maddie Smith from Fillmore Central, Lange and State President Lafe Aarsvold from Plainview-Elgin-Millville.

Nearly 200 Minnesota FFA members, including Faith Lange of the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA chapter, gathered for two sessions of the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders (SLCCL) at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve near Hackensack from June 26 to 28 and June 30 to July 2 to develop leadership skills for their communities and home chapters.

This elite leadership conference is targeted at FFA members who have gone above and beyond in their local chapters. These FFA members come from all corners of the state, represent unique sectors of agriculture and have been recognized as top leaders in their schools.

The conference is modeled after the FFA’s Program of Activities, which gives an example of activity areas the ideal FFA chapter should participate in. While at this conference, members are able to network with other students and share some of these activity ideas from their own FFA chapters.

A chapter’s Program of Activities focuses on growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. During sessions under each of these three areas, members were able to discover more about the role of healthy lifestyles, recruitment, agriculture literacy, fundraising and community service in their FFA chapters.

“Students gathered from across Minnesota to come together and better each other’s chapters," Minnesota FFA President Lafe Aarsvold said.  “After reviewing the 15 national quality chapter standards, members shared ideas from their own experiences. Students were challenged to return to their home chapter to implement some of the new ideas they learned about at the conference.”

FFA members had the opportunity to connect with different individuals outside of sessions during fun activities such as volleyball, canoeing, and hiking. Each night, the state officers shared reflections with the campers, and the final day wrapped up with chapters sharing ideas to incorporate in their home chapters.

The State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders serves the Minnesota FFA Association by building talented and young individuals. These members often end up as leaders in multiple organizations and receive high academic marks during their postsecondary education before beginning very successful careers, according to Minnesota FFA officials.

This leadership conference was made possible with financial contributions from the CHS Foundation and Northland Ford Dealers as a special project of the Minnesota FFA Foundation.

FFA is a national organization developing students’ potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education with more than 600,000 members in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Minnesota FFA Association represents nearly 11,000 members and almost 200 high school chapters across the state.