While time spent in the famous blue corduroy jacket is limited to FFA members, their passion for the organization never dies. Former members still find themselves wanting to support FFA years later — take the members of West Rowan FFA Alumni Chapter, for example.
“As a community, it’s always important to support the youth coming up,” says alumni member Alex Sillyman. “I wouldn’t have been able to do all of the things I have without the support of my community. It’s priceless to see our youth take advantage of these opportunities.”
During the National FFA Alumni Day at this year’s convention, this North Carolina chapter was named 2018 Outstanding FFA Alumni Chapter. This award recognizes the support they give FFA students in their community.
Some of the ways West Rowan Alumni support the youth in their community and raise money are through an alumni tailgate, barn dance, and oyster roast and silent auction. They also educate second graders, local officials and other community members on the importance of agriculture.
For the chapter’s 120 lifetime members, these activities are the result of a great collaboration between their community and agriculture program.
“We operate on a need-basis,” says alumna Madeline Wilhelm. “The community sees a need for something, and the alumni help them fulfill it.”
While the alumni of West Rowan FFA didn’t expect to win an award for their efforts, they view it as a great way to say thank you to the community members that help them.
“The award helps shine a light on the good deeds the community members are doing,” says Sillyman. “It’s never inappropriate to say thank you and I think that’s what this does.”
To find out more about the FFA Alumni and Supporters program, or to start a chapter in your community, visit ffa.org/alumni-and-supporters
Cheyenne Dunn is a senior at Purdue University studying Agricultural Communication. As a former member of Greensburg FFA Chapter, she is working as a reporter during the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo.