What is it like being in the Future Farmers of America?

Publisher’s Note: The FFA students at Greenbrier East, under the leadership of Emily Dunkle, expressed interest in providing regular agricultural content for The Real WV. We are proud to partner with them. Their first piece of content is an overview of what they do each year.

By the Future Farmers of America, Greenbrier East Chapter

The Greenbrier East FFA chapter participates in a variety of activities throughout the year, including agricultural competitions, community service projects, and leadership conferences. Members have the opportunity to compete in events such as livestock judging, land judging, equine judging, public speaking, and agricultural mechanics, among others. These competitions help students develop important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.

On December 7th, Greenbrier East FFA sent an agricultural mechanics team and a milk quality team to Morgantown, WV for what is called CDEs (Career Development Events.) Leah Wylie from the agricultural mechanics’ team stated, “CDEs have helped put the skills I’ve learned in class to use at the competition. It’s also allowed me to meet people from all around the state who share the same interests as me. ”

In addition to competitions, the Greenbrier East FFA chapter also participates in community service projects that help promote agricultural awareness and education. Some of these projects include small projects requested by community members and organizing fundraisers for local charities.

Along with community service and competitions, this chapter hosts several fundraisers throughout the year. We have two large fundraisers each year. One of the two biggest fundraisers is the Ham Stand, located in the West Virginia State Fair, which is by far one of the most successful fundraisers the chapter has. Students are not required but are encouraged to work at least three shifts during state fair week. The funds are used for anything our chapter needs along with an educational and fun trip to famous farm shows in states surrounding West Virginia. For example, Louisville, Kentucky is the farm show selected for this year from February 14th-16th, 2024. Students who worked at least three shifts during fair week at the ham stand have the opportunity to participate in the field trip.

Each year the West Virginia State FFA chapter holds a state convention. During the convention chapters from around the state are invited to participate in events and sessions hosted by the current state FFA officers. Greenbrier East FFA’s officer team, competition participants, and state degree recipients all gather at Cedar Lakes, WV to participate in the convention. The state convention is also hosted to vote for new state officers. FFA also holds a huge event called the National Convention held in Indianapolis, IN every year to talk about new business, give awards, present American degrees (the highest degree you can receive), and present the new national officer team. Greenbrier East FFA’s chosen officers of the year all get to travel to Indianapolis to participate in the convention.

This upcoming month includes National FFA Week and regional LDEs. The Greenbrier East FFA chapter decorates the halls and sets up games in the school during lunches for students to participate in during the week. Officers choose different games but every year we do a “petting zoo” with small farm animals. It’s the most popular activity by far. The chapter also participates in what’s called LDEs (Leadership Development Events.) Teams will be chosen closer to the date of LDEs which is on February 28th, 2024.

Overall, the Greenbrier East FFA chapter is a valuable resource for students who are interested in agriculture and related fields. Through its activities and programs, the chapter helps students develop important skills and knowledge that will prepare them for successful careers in the agricultural industry.

Members of the Greenbrier East FFA chapter visit The Hanna Farmstead in Sinks Grove, WV, which is owned by two alumni of the group.

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