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FFA member with black steer
FFA students become business-savvy and develop a passion for agriculture through supervised ag experiences like raising and showing livestock.
Stewardship

Corvallis to Kansas: FFA leaves an impact on students across the U.S.

Hear from three of the thousands of FFA members supported by the CHS Foundation about what wearing the blue corduroy jacket means to them.
Feb 14, 2022

Across the country, FFA members are gearing up for FFA Week, Feb. 19-26, 2022. As the premier youth organization preparing students for ag leadership and careers, it’s a time to celebrate the impact FFA has on agriculture. Hear from three of the thousands of FFA members supported by the CHS Foundation about what wearing the blue corduroy jacket means to them. 

Perhaps the most unconventional approach to a FFA project comes from Devin Helmerichs of the Frankfort, Kan., FFA chapter. He is raising axolotls, an endangered species of salamander, as part of his supervised ag experience (SAE) project and serves as reporter on his chapter officer team. His goal is to eventually grow his small business and begin selling axolotls to help repopulate the species. The skills Helmerichs has learned through FFA have left a lasting impression on him. 

“Everyone in FFA gives their best for themselves and our community,” says Helmerichs. “FFA has inspired me to get more involved and be a better person.”

In western Montana 1,300 miles away, Keller Brothers is part of the Corvallis, Mont., FFA Chapter and shares a similar love for FFA and agriculture. He got involved with FFA in in 7th grade and began working for a local rancher at a young age. This inspired him to start his SAE raising cattle and participate in livestock judging and ag mechanics competitions. Through all those experiences he became a better leader and public speaker but interacting with other FFA members impacted him the most. 

“The best part of FFA has been traveling to FFA convention and meeting other FFA members,” says Brothers. “Not everyone is involved in the same way, and what agriculture looks like is different for each person.” 

FFA student Delaney Klebaum shows off her FFA jacket
Delaney Klebaum, Union, Ore., shows off her FFA jacket.

Delaney Klebaum of the Union, Oregon FFA chapter sums up what FFA has taught her in three words: Care, Competition and Passion. By raising, selling and showing sheep for her SAE, she’s learned care for people and animals, developed a competitive edge and became passionate about agriculture. She wants to share what she’s learned with the next generation of students. 

“I want to eventually run for state FFA office and become an ag teacher,” says Klebaum. “My ag teachers impacted me, and I want to support students in the same way.” 

These are just three examples of the more than 735,000 students involved in FFA. There are FFA chapters in every state, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including 24 of the 25 largest U.S. cities. The CHS Foundation proudly supports the National FFA Organization and 17 state FFA associations. To learn more about how FFA is growing the next generation of ag leaders, visit ffa.org.


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