Pullman, Wash. — Washington FFA state officers take a year off of college and employment for a “year of service.” This year is filled with many amazing opportunities to interact with fellow members and agricultural education students. The state officers spend a large amount of this year in agricultural education classrooms completing FFA chapter visits.
Chapter visits began in late September when state officers started traveling in pairs around the state. These visits cover both sides of the state, all 39 counties, and all nine regional Washington FFA districts. From Omak to Pullman, Richland to Ellensburg, from Stanwood to Sumner, Rochester to White Salmon, and so many FFA chapters in between, the state officers travel for approximately 45 business days over 2.5 months and will sweep 95 different chapters during that time.
Success can mean many different things to different people. That is just one of the topics that the state officers focus on in workshops that they present to students in agricultural education classrooms. Other topics include: strength development, communication skills, and opportunities available in the FFA. These workshops are not only presented to FFA members but all potential members since all students enrolled in an agricultural education course have the ability to become members.
State officers will present workshops to as many as 7 classes in one day and as many as 5 days a week. The Washington FFA state officers visit some small schools such as Sprague High School, which only has 28 students and 26 FFA members, to larger schools like Prosser High School, with 900 students and 400 FFA members.
Chapter visits also provide the opportunity for FFA members and Agricultural Education students who are considering joining FFA to speak with to officers and ask questions about their own experiences, since they graduated from high school and their FFA program in June.
Washington FFA State Reporter Kelci Scharff said one of her favorite memories was when State Sentinel Matt Rounsley and she were attending Oakesdale FFA Chapter Visit, a 150 student K-12 School located 45 minutes outside Pullman. While we were at their school it was Homecoming Week, and they got to see all of the festivities. The kindergartners and seniors all came into one room and their school pride was incredible, not a single student wasn’t dressed up. “That’s not even the best part, they then had a dance competition and they let Matt and I compete in it, and with the amazing support for FFA this school has, we even won. After some school wide Zumba dancing we went back to the classroom and finished up the day with some workshops.”
State officers visit during homecoming season, Halloween and during the holiday season and the school festivities come right along with it. Washington FFA State President Seth Smith and State Secretary Taylor Enns were embraced by the Thanksgiving spirit. When they visited Hudson’s Bay FFA chapter in the Vancouver area, they were greeted with a Thanksgiving potluck. The members brought their favorite thanksgiving food and the advisor cooked the turkey.
“I enjoyed getting to experience the members favorite meals while getting to know what they were excited to participate in during this year,” said Enns.
There is the opportunity for chapters to invite officers for chapter visits in early spring as well. Chapter visits are not only an opportunity for growth for the students but also a chance for officers to meet with many of the 11,000 Washington FFA members. Visits to FFA programs, as well as to request the State Officers at other agricultural events, please complete the request form at: https://www.washingtonffa.org/visit-request-1/