Wyoming FFA members strive for improvement by exchanging ideas
Douglas – As the 2012-2013 school year is successfully underway, so is the busiest time of year for the FFA chapters around the state of Wyoming, with chapters participating in everything from Can-O’-Treating with the Casper FFA in the fall to the labor auction with the Powell-Shoshone FFA chapter in the spring.
At the most recent Wyoming FFA event held in Douglas on Nov. 9-10, the Chapter President’s (CPC) and F.I.R.E. conferences, students exchanged ideas on what their chapters would be doing through out the year.
Aleesha Gladson from the Gillette FFA said, “I think its important to exchange ideas with other chapters around the state because they might have a way to help out with that idea or they might give you new ideas for your chapter.”
“I heard some awesome ideas from the other chapters, and the best one that I might use or suggest to my chapter is doing a labor auction within our community,” she continued.
Gladson’s favorite event through out the year is their annual ski trip.
“That is a time where we all get together and just hang out without anything to worry about,” Gladson added. “I think if other chapters enjoy spending time together, outdoors, doing something they love, I would suggest doing the ski trip to anyone.”
Hoping to gain some great ideas to incorporate in their chapters, members listened contently to others as they explained what activities they would be tackling this year.
“Not only do we gain some really good ideas for fundraising, chapter involvement and activities, but it creates a little friendly competition within chapters in Wyoming,” Gladson notes. “Friendly competition is always a good thing.”
Chandler Hiser with the Casper FFA also added, “It keeps everyone on their toes and the enthusiasm up!”
Every FFA chapter in Wyoming is required to submit a POA, or program of activities, to the state. This application is an organized list of all the activities chapters plan for their members for the year. It must include the name of the activity, four goals students would like to achieve with that activity and a date.
Each year at the Wyoming State FFA convention chapters are given awards based on their POA and how it scores.
Baxter Heinert from the Powell-Shoshone FFA explains how gaining ideas is a good thing because it helps raise money for FFA trips and scholarships.
“Without the never-ending support from the community and the parent support group these things would not be possible,” Heinert said.
Students and members don’t only share their ideas of activities and opportunities at conferences like CPC and F.I.R.E., but they keep in touch with different members from around the state all year.
“We all usually have a few friends from different chapters around the state and stay in touch with them. It’s fun to hear about what fun things other chapters are doing, and that’s also how we get our ideas,” Heinert commented.
As a small state and a small, but powerful portion of the National FFA Organization, it is important to keep up communication between chapters in Wyoming.
Our country was founded on interpersonal communication skills ranging from a large meeting at the White House with George Washington, to a meeting at the town hall where farmers, ranchers and townsmen could voice their opinion and communicate openly.
Today’s society seems to be nearing a generation where almost all communication is through technology, such as text messaging, email, Facebook and Twitter.
Wyoming FFA works to keep the traditions of public speaking and face-to-face communication alive. It seems that interpersonal relationships and the ever so faithful “hand shake” is becoming such a rarity.
The chapter idea exchange program teaches members the skills of face-to-face communication in large and small public settings as they are forced to speak about and discuss their excellent ideas in person at these leadership conferences.
Lisa Andreen, Wyoming State FFA parliamentarian says, “I believe that being able to sit and have a conversation with someone without using text or social networking is a privilege that we take for granted.”
She also added, “I would much rather prefer to see someone smile in person and make actual eye contact, rather than receive a smiley face over text messaging.”
Wyoming’s State Second Vice President Colby Hales added, “From my point of view, just the sheer networking aspect of talking with other chapters about their activities, fundraisers, etc., is very valuable.”
“When talking with other chapters, many good ideas come together to form great chapters and make Wyoming FFA an association of phenomenal members and groups that are out in the community and improving the image of our organization,” Hales added.
Throughout time, exchanging ideas for the betterment and improvement of societies has played a substantially large role in success. It helps to repeat and improve positive ideas and minimize the pitfalls of ideas with poor results. Wyoming FFA’s chapter idea exchange program will continue, aiming to perpetuate the FFA program for years to come.
Kellee King is a member of the Casper FFA Chapter. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.