Luke Barnes, 11, walks his cow. Barnes serves as the Vice President of FFA.

Courtesy Photo

Farming the Future

Students Develop Leadership, Life Skills in FFA

February 19, 2019

Walking around touching the animals’ backs and feeling for strong muscles, FFA advisor and agriculture teacher Aubrea Davis judges the goats and lambs during the weekly showmanship practice. 

“It is crucial for our students to prioritize their activities,” Ms. Davis said. “Keeping their school work should be their top priority at all times.” 

There is a lot of incorrect information out there about how our food is produced. It is my job to teach my students how to determine what is true.”

— Ms. Davis

Students can join FFA through Ben Barber. The agriculture teachers have animals of their own or high experience with certain animals in the FFA program. Ben Barber has four main ag teachers and they teach different topics involving agriculture like Principles of Agriculture, Small Animal Management and Equine Science. Ms. Davis runs the goat and lamb team. 

“There is a lot of incorrect information out there about how our food is produced,” Ms. Davis said. “It is my job to teach my students how to determine what is true.”

Students can judge dairy cows and livestock, compete in Career and Leadership Development Events (CDE and LDE)  or speak to the public about the FFA creed. Mr. Doug Klaudt runs the CDE and LDE aspect of FFA.

“I train teams for CDE and LDE competitions,” Mr. Klaudt said. “Time management is essential for me to complete everything that I need to complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.”

Students weld and build new things to show. The team meets at Ben Barber to work on projects to use in competitions like hay feeders, a trough to hold hay for cows to eat.

“I work with excellent students who help me every day with the tasks that need to be completed,” Mr. Klaudt said. “We also have a supportive alumni group that helps us out as well.”

FFA president and junior Reagan Powers runs the motions and takes different suggestions during the monthly meetings. Different motions require different discussions. She works with her fellow five officers to plan chapter gatherings, organize activities and manage the budget. 

“The hardest thing about being president is making sure I am balancing all of my activities.” Powers said.

Life at school differs from life at the barn, but in order to show and compete, students must pass all their classes. 

“Time management is key in being involved in FFA, AP classes and just mental health for all humans,” vice president Luke Barnes said. “I write in my planner to make sure everything is on date.”

Barnes struggles with new ideas. FFA has made him more open to people and, like many others, has given him an opportunity to earn college money.

“Before I joined FFA I never knew what I was going to do in life,” Barnes said. “Now FFA is my family and will always hold a place in my heart.”

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