FFA is more than farm animals

FFA+is+more+than+farm+animals

Emma Snyder, Staff Writer

If you happen to see a goat or a sheep on Bear Creek’s campus, don’t be alarmed — the animals are a part of FFA.

Future Farmers of America (FFA) is a national organization devoted to developing students’ potential for leadership, personal growth and career success.

FFA became a club in 2012 with Tiffany Trexler and Susanne Perrin serving as the club advisors.

“We strive to build our students with qualities they will use in life outside the program,” Trexler said, “such as speaking in front of people, how to answer job interview questions, and how to work with other people.”

According to Trexler, a successful FFA program completes all characteristics of the three-ring model, which consists of FFA, SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience), and the classroom.

Members of FFA have the option to raise turkeys, chickens, rabbits, sheep and goats.

“The purpose of raising these animals is to eventually sell them at Ag Fest for them to be cultivated,” Perrin says.

Members of FFA say that there is a lot of dirty work that goes into being a member of FFA, literally. Students must take care of, feed and clean their animal two times a day.

“I don’t just get an animal and set it free,” senior Jannie Ford said. “I have to be there like a parent cleaning, feeding, and exercising them for at minimum 20 minutes a day.”

Students who have responsibility for an animal must come in before school and in the evening to take care of their animal as well as come in during breaks.

“At the end of the school year in June, FFA takes their animals to a competition, ‘AgFest’, where the kids are judged on their knowledge of how to take care of their animal and how well they are taken care of,” Perrin said.

Depending on how well-kept an animal is, the students can make profit and sell it to a loving home.

“There’s a lot of bonding that goes on between the animals and the students,” Ford said. “It’s really hard for some people to sell their animal at AgFest.”

FFA is also involved in multiple activities on and off of campus.

“Students are expected to participate in at least four activities per semester in order to satisfy their FFA membership,” Trexler said. “These activities range from monthly meetings, evening events, service projects such as cleaning up campus, fundraisers, conferences, and competitions.”

As FFA rapidly increases its members over the years (this year being at a record- breaking 335 students according to Trexler), advisors hope to continue the club growth, educating students on all that FFA offers.