FFA - Future Farmers of America

Greetings FFA members and families,

Melanie Krahn 2018-19 Chapter President

OVERVIEW

Overview

Since 1917 with the passage of the Smith-Hughes Act, federal and state legislation has provided leadership for the implementation and improvement of agricultural education programs. The foundation of any successful Agricultural Education program is based on three inseparable, equal, and interdependent components that include: Classroom Instruction, FFA leadership activities, and Supervised Agricultural Experience projects.

Our FFA program has grown in leaps and bounds since being established in 2014. It has been our goal to increase overall attendance at meetings, increase positive interactions with parents through increased home visits and parent/member meetings, and provide more opportunities for students to experience leadership activities. With the advice and supervision of the chapter advisor the chapter officer team, have facilitated outstanding leadership activities increasing member attendance from 20% to 80% of our members attending monthly meetings. This translates into almost all member attending meetings and activities.

Our program is one of three agriculture education programs that serve Reedley and surrounding areas. Due to the competitive nature of each high school, our department has organized a strong Ag Ambassador Recruitment Program to help educate our feeder schools and their students about the various areas of study in agriculture. Our agriculture instructor works to retain our current students by creating informational brochures for upper class man and works with our school counselor to correctly place all agriculture students in classes each year. In order to help our current students continue their success after graduation, $12,500 in scholarships is awarded each year from the Immanuel Ag Boosters—partly raised by the students themselves during their four years in our program.

Our students continue to impress us with their accomplishments. Over the past four years, our students have been successful in Proficiency Awards at the Sectional, Regional and State levels. Our program has also produced two regional officers and three sectional officers in a short time span. This year the last of our founding members will be graduating and leaving the legacy of establishing the Immanuel Agriculture Program, these students will potentially earn over $15,000 in scholarships toward majoring in agriculture at four-year Universities and Community Colleges. 

Our students have earned 14 State degrees, 10 sectional proficiency awards and 1 state championship. The Immanuel Agriculture Program has worked diligently to continue its commitment to faith, leadership and success.

PATHWAYS

California Agricultural Education offers seven pathways:

  • Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Mechanics
  • Agriscience
  • Animal Science
  • Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Ornamental Horticulture
  • Plant and Soil Science
STUDENTS SERVED

During the 2015-16 school year over 80,000 students received training from Agricultural Education programs in comprehensive high schools and regional occupational programs and centers. The proportion of students participating in agricultural education programs has risen dramatically over the last decade. At least 317 sites statewide serve students in grades nine through twelve, in addition to student enrolled in post-secondary agricultural education programs.

BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS
  • Foundation in the academic and technical skills necessary for career and personal success
  • Leadership and interpersonal skill development
  • Authentic assessment of knowledge, skills, and abilities through on-demand demonstrations and portfolios
OUTCOMES
  • Collaboration, articulation, and networking with all levels of delivery systems (elementary through post-secondary).
  • Supervised entrepreneurial and workplace learning experiences.
  • Linkages and partnerships with business and industry.
  • Professional development opportunities for teachers, administrators, and counselors.
  • Curriculum development based on performance and content standards
  • On-site technical assistance in programs
SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCES (SAE)

FFA is a dynamic youth organization within agricultural education that changes lives and prepares students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. Hands on leaning through SAE projects, internships, cooperative education, and work based learning are vital components to a student getting the full Ag Education experience. Students enrolled in agriculture education courses at Immanuel have the opportunity to participate in the SAE program. The SAE component of Agriculture Education is worth up to 10% of a student’s grade. Students complete an SAE survey at the beginning of the school year so that we can identify what kind and scope of SAE projects students have completed over the summer or are currently involved with. Each year we have approximately 20 students exhibit livestock, small animal projects, and fine arts such as floral arrangements and photography at the Fresno County Fair. A large number of students participate in work experience projects during the summer months and throughout the school year. Students also participate in landscape, home improvement, and farming projects throughout the school year. We also have students intern with local veterinarians and fruit packing houses during the spring and summer months. Over the past four years, our students have earned 10 Sectional Proficiencies and a regional proficiency. Our students have earned a large number of advanced degrees over the past four years earning 15 State FFA Degrees. Although this may seem like a small number, keep in mind this is our fourth year of the Immanuel Agriculture Education program and Immanuel FFA Chapter. Our members followed the degree process to properly earn each degree in time. We continue to double our state degree applicants each year and look forward to a significant number of American degree applicants in the Spring of 2019.

IMMANUEL FFA PARTICIPATION

Students of Immanuel FFA have taken advantage of many leadership opportunities within the FFA Organization. Immanuel FFA has student representatives at the Section and Regional levels for the last three years, along with a National Delegate and Committee Chair. Students have attended 5 major leadership conferences such as Greenhand Leadership Conference, MFE & ALA, State Conference and National Convention. Student Leadership roles have also developed in committee work, chapter and sectional activities and community events. Immanuel FFA has made an impact in Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events, and works hard to continue that success. Immanuel FFA has had 2 State Champion Teams, along with many top five placing’s and a reserve champion Impromptu public speaker in the past two years. Students in our program have the opportunity to participate in 8 different career development event teams and 6 different leadership development event competitions/teams while competing in ten field days throughout the state each year. Student participation in CDE and LDE teams has increased over the four years of the program. We believe that students are not only excited about the opportunity to be challenged in areas that they are passionate about but also gain valuable life, college and career skills.Our outstanding livestock exhibitors won various species champion titles and advanced showmanship classes at the Big Fresno Fair in Fresno County. The Immanuel Agriculture Program has worked diligently to continue its 4-year commitment to tradition, leadership and success.

FUNDING

Our Immanuel Ag Boosters hosts a major fundraising dinner each year to help pay travel expenses for judging teams, department expenses, and to provide scholarships to program completers that are seeking higher education. In the spring, they host the FFA Boots & Beef Dinner and Auction. They have averaged over $40,000 profit from the dinner and both the silent and live auctions. As we are a private entity we do not receive state funding from the Ag Incentive Grant, we do however receive funds to the agriculture education program from our Ag Boosters each year to ensure the program runs successfully and smoothly.

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The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
for the ears of the wise seek it out.
Proverbs 18:15