Maine FFA student officers receive leadership training

Trainers from the National FFA Organization (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) traveled to Aroostook County last week to prepare the new team of Maine FFA State Officers for their responsibilities in overseeing the duties of the student-run leadership organization for secondary and middle school students enrolled in agriculture and natural resource classes. 

Maine FFA includes 16 local chapters located throughout the state from Caribou to Brunswick. Costs for the event, which was hosted by the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension at the USDA Service Center in Presque Isle, were subsidized by Maine Agriculture in the Classroom via proceeds from the Maine agricultural license plate.

During this fast-paced, hands-on, introductory training known as “Blast Off,” National FFA’s 2010-2011 President Riley Pagett of Oklahoma, and 2010-2011 Pennsylvania FFA Vice President Matthew Reutlinger, presented Maine’s officers with leadership instruction on topics like goal setting, time management, personal commitment and other agricultural issues.  Maine’s 2014-15 State FFA Officer team will take what they have learned to a follow-up regional training in New York before delivering their own leadership trainings and other programs to nearly 500 current members.

With over 500,000 members nationwide, the National FFA provides its membership with opportunities that include leadership training, competitions, and over $2 million in scholarships and awards.  Maine FFA follows suit, providing scholarships to local trainings, the annual State FFA State Convention and a leadership conference in Washington, DC.

Secondary and middle school teachers providing students with instruction related to agriculture and natural resources may contact Maine DOE’s FFA Advisor Doug Robertson at doug.robertson@maine.gov or 207-624-6744 for more information on how to start a local FFA chapter or technical assistance.