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Chapter development has been made a major priority for Alaska FFA in 2013. The State Association has been putting a lot of energy and funding into building up struggling chapters, supporting strong chapters, and recruiting new schools and communities to join our association with new chapters.
The Homer FFA Chapter is one of Alaska FFA’s oldest chapters, with its original charter dating back to over 40 years ago! In recent years, the chapter has seen declining membership and the need for a transition in leadership and a boost in support. Last week, Alaska FFA state staff and officers paid a visit to two local high schools in Homer: Homer Flex and Homer High. Homer Flex School has shown a lot of interest in FFA, and our goal was to help them re-establish a chapter and keep FFA alive and strong in Homer.
Brittany Jones and I visited Flex on March 29th with our advisor, Amy Harmon, and our alumni coordinator, Hannah Harrison. We were met by some amazing and very friendly students who graciously showed us around their school. Homer Flex is an alternative high school, and we were impressed by their awesome wood shop, ceramics studio, and independent learning atmosphere. We were invited to present to the underclassmen science classes and we were impressed by how quickly the students jumped on board after we all explained what FFA was and all the amazing things they could gain from joining. In the first class alone, over half the students put their name on a roster of interested members. Many of them had great questions, and we discussed the time commitments of FFA, how they as students leaders direct the business of the chapter, and how it was a great chance to put their leadership skills to the test while also progressing their agricultural and natural resource education.
The next class we presented to asked even more questions and the interest was evident on their faces. Most of the class quickly put their name on the roster and they all decided when their first meeting time would be, today April 5 at 9:30. At this meeting they elected chapter officers and also decided on their next meeting, so that they could put together a POA, or program of activities. Brittany and I will be around to help kick-start the chapter and provide any support they might need, whether it be for the students or the new advisor, Mr. Jeff Szarzi.
Alaska FFA is very excited to see Homer Flex FFA off the ground and running!
By Traven Apiki, Alaska FFA State President 2012-2013
Today the Delegate Issues for the 2013 Alaska FFA State Convention went live on our website. Make sure your chapter prints off copies of each issue and discusses it thoroughly at your next chapter meeting. This year, chapters will have an opportunity to present written testimony to the delegate committee at state convention as they deliberate whether these issues should pass into Alaska FFA law. Your input is important!
Chapters should discuss:
– How will this issue affect our chapter?
– How will this issue affect our state association?
– Does my chapter support this issue? Why or why not?
– How do we want our chapter delegates to represent our chapter at state convention in regard to these delegate issues?
– What questions do we have about these issues? Who can answer them?
We look forward to receiving feedback from chapters and advisors on these delegate issues, and seeing them deliberated at state convention!
Also, check out the delegate page for more information about the issues and why they were written (Letter to Advisors), as well as information about what delegates do and how to serve as one for your chapter (What Does it Mean to be a Delegate?).
State Officer Take-off Report: Delta Junction
In January 2013, Alaska FFA State Officers Mya Schmitt and Brittany Jones were able to visit the Delta Chapter for their annual chapter take off. Delta had everything planned out for us. When we gave our workshops, when they had activities for us already planned. The members even joined us in visiting the class rooms during school hours and giving presentations! The class room presentations where a lot of fun because then the students could actually connect with their own chapter members instead of just two strangers they didn’t know.
After school, we got a chance to meet with all of Delta’s awesome members and do the actual take-off. There where almost 20 students there! A lot of them where new and came because of the successful class room presentations. We created trail mix using parliamentary procedure. We even did a really exciting relay race of who could put on Alaska winter clothes and take them off the fasted. This take off was so great that they even had the local news paper come and cover the event. We had such a blast at their take-off and can’t wait to see everyone at state conventions.
Big thanks to the Delta Junction FFA Chapter for hosting our state officers!