FFA helps students dig deep into Agricultural Science

Lucas Polucha, Video Editor

Stillwater’s local FFA Chapter recently participated in FFA week, from Feb. 22-29, where the club generated awareness about the opportunities FFA gives to students. The local chapter was also preparing for the upcoming State Conference in late April, but has been forced to suspend activities due to COVID-19.

FFA, formerly Future Farmers of America, which was founded in 1928, is a nationwide youth organization that tries to introduce students to potential careers in agriculture and natural resources by offering firsthand experiences.

The goal of the organization is to get students “a foot in the door to these industries,” junior Matthew Crain said. 

One main way FFA prepares students is through Career Development Events, or CDEs, where a group of participants from different chapters come together and get tested on their skills for a specific field. 

It’s all Minnesota native animals, and they are split into birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and insects.

— Matthew Crain

Crain’s project had several components, including an identification portion.

“So it’s all Minnesota native animals, and they are split into birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and insects as well,” he explained.  “And the idea is there’s usually a table of like 50, either pictures, taxidermy, sometimes as bones as well, and we have to identify them.”

While the name has created a stereotype that most of the participants are farmers, the wide range of activities and career development is open to anyone, explained Addison Smith-O’Brien, a senior and the Chapter’s Vice President, who has lived in a city for her entire life.

Even more than CDEs, FFA also grants students the tools to help their community. The chapter “adopted a section of Highway 95 to clean, we also help the DNR do fish surveys in Brown’s Creek and we also do plant sales and stuff to give plants to the community,” Crain said.

As with most extracurriculars, FFA tries to build connections between students to create a positive environment. “There are so many people that I’m so glad I met that I met through FFA, I mean our officer team is amazing. All around the section are unique and amazing people,” Smith-O’Brien said.