FFA grows opportunities to explore, learn, experience
Nov. 22, 2016
They both live on farms, are interested in science and agriculture and are active in school sports, so when Morgan Hoffmann and Mikenzie Stahl decided to become involved in FFA, they put their hearts and heads into the effort.
As members of the Schoharie Valley FFA chapter, the DCS juniors have participated in competitions, trainings and conferences, including the Fall 2016 FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, IN in October. They found their journey to be as exciting as their destination.
"During the week before the convention - on the way there - we visited the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, NY (photo above), the Agricultural Incubation Center in Bowling Green, OH and then Rupp Seeds in Ohio," Hoffmann and Stahl related. "Then we visited Findlay University and toured their animal science barns and equestrian building and went to Sechler's Pickles for a pickle-making tour."
Once they arrived at the FFA Convention, the students and their Schoharie Valley FFA chapter colleagues were inspired by keynote speaker, author, journalist and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad. They explored their future options at a career expo and college fair, networked with agriculture professionals and met FFA peers from all over the country.
Hoffmann and Stahl were able to join the Schoharie Valley FFA chapter last year when they enrolled in agriculture-related courses taught at Schoharie High School and offered at DCS through distance learning. "We took veterinary science last year and it was a lot of fun," Stahl said. She and Hoffmann are currently taking small animal care as an independent study course.
Hoffmann's family raises beef cows and hay on their farm, and joining FFA was always on her to-do list. Last spring, she participated in an FFA creed speaking competition at a district event. Hoffmann spends half her school day at DCS and half as a nurse assistant student at the Capital Region Career & Technical School (CTE).
Stahl's family raises beef cattle and hay on their farm. Her father was in FFA, and she also wanted to join FFA for a number of years. This past fall, she competed as a member of the award-winning vegetable crop team at the New York State Fair. "I've learned a lot about leadership in FFA," Stahl said, "and I'm interested in a career as a veterinarian or something horse-related."
The Schoharie Valley FFA Chapter includes members from Schoharie, Middleburgh and Duanesburg high schools.
FFA is a national organization of more than 625,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. An integral part of the agricultural education program in public schools, FFA has as its mission "to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education." FFA was formerly known as the Future Farmers of America.
FFA roadtrip and convention photos by Morgan Hoffmann