On November 15, 2019, 160 enthusiastic Aroostook County FFA student members (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) participated in a one-day workshop at the University of Maine at Presque Isle devoted to leadership skills of positive influence, prioritizing, time management, and teamwork. The University’s Sustainable Agriculture program sponsored the event.
Student State FFA Officers Graham Berry (President), Camryn Curtis (Vice President) and Ava Cameron (Secretary-Treasurer) developed, organized and conducted the workshop, with assistance from Haillee Cunningham and Alli Kenney of Ashland High School and from Emma Burby, Brandon Dubie, Izzy Higgins, Rheanna Ortman, and Amanda Winslow of Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center. Logistics were assisted by Doug Robertson, State FFA Advisor, Maine Department of Education.
All current FFA chapters of Aroostook County fielded students to the event: Ashland High School, Ashland Middle School, Caribou Technology Center, Central Aroostook High School, Central Aroostook Junior High School, Easton Junior/Senior High School, Hodgdon High School, Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center, Presque Isle Middle School, Washburn High School.
Maine FFA is a statewide organization whose nearly 500 members come from grades 7-12 classes devoted to areas of agriculture and natural resources (including science curricula infused with agriculture and natural resources topics). Workshop content included discussion of topics, brainstorming, and hands-on illustrative activities. In additional to leadership skills, students had the chance to meet and work together with peers from other schools. Some students at the workshop had also recently returned from the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, an event attended by nearly 70,000 students from across the country. In addition to workshops and conventions, students in FFA are often involved in local community service and may benefit from numerous awards and scholarships.
Schools interested in starting new FFA chapters should contact: Doug Robertson, Maine FFA Advisor, Maine Department of Education, firstname.lastname@example.org (207) 624-6744.