By McKena Woolstenhulme, vice president, and Alyssa Chambliss, reporter
Utah State University’s Collegiate FFA chapter includes members from all majors across campus in Logan, Utah. Members come together to take part in service projects, fun and fellowship activities, and act as a support system for the Utah FFA Association. The overarching purpose of the USU Collegiate FFA is to provide the opportunity for members to give back, serve others and grow professionally.
One opportunity that USU Collegiate FFA members value is the chance to give back to the Utah FFA Association. Collegiate FFA members travel throughout the state to serve as judges for various chapter and area contests, assist with the coordination of Utah FFA State Career Development Events, present workshops at state leadership conferences, and serve as support staff at the annual Utah State FFA Convention. In addition, they host the state FFA dance and recruit future students to USU.
For the past two years, the largest service project has been conducted by partnering with AgrAbility of Utah. AgrAbility is part of a national program designed to help farmers, ranchers and their family members remain in agriculture despite limitations due to aging, disease, injury, illness or other disabilities. A variety of conditions may affect farmers and ranchers, including arthritis, back injury, chronic pain, heart conditions, hearing and visual impairments, traumatic brain injury, and more. Because of its success the first year, the program continues to grow. Each year a farmer in Cache Valley with especially labor-intensive needs is selected and the chapter members spend the day doing a variety of tasks, from servicing and fixing farm vehicles and machinery to cleaning out and burning weeds. Members also make it a priority to become involved in service projects that support our local community and on campus. Most recently, this has included a canned food drive for the Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC). This program provides students and the community with access to a food pantry, nutrition program and community education.
Another project that has a long-standing tradition at USU benefits Utah Ag in the Classroom. It’s conducted several times throughout the year, and we partner with Alpha Tau Alpha. Members spend the evening assembling teaching kits for Utah Ag in the Classroom to distribute to teachers throughout the state and nation. This project not only assists the Utah AITC staff, it helps students understand and value the importance of agricultural literacy.
Along with these great opportunities to serve and grow, members have plenty of fun! The annual ice cream festival at the state fair, opening social, Halloween costume party and ugly Christmas sweater contests are always a huge hit, as well as an annual tractor parade hosted by our College of Agriculture and monthly meetings designed for members to play games, get to know each other and plan future activities.
To learn more, visit www.usu.edu/ffa, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, @usucffa.