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FFA Does Much More Than You May Think
Shown are the 2016-2017 Escalon FFA officers, from left, Sentinel Rachel Swift, Reporter Matthew Lima, Vice President Mary Adams, Secretary Cydney Keener, President Natalie Bianchi, and Treasurer Elliott Mello. Photo Contributed

According to its mission statement, “FFA seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of its students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.” But how does FFA achieve this mission? The easiest answer would be the sheer volume and depth of opportunities offered to FFA members to learn, grow, and prosper.

FFA members are encouraged to put what they learn in class to use outside of school through their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE’s) and are also given the opportunity to learn more about vocations in agriculture through Career Development Events (CDE’s).

SAE’s are out-of-class projects that can take on many forms and are often a way for students to earn money. An SAE can be anything from landscaping to raising livestock, so long as the project has to do with agriculture. Those who have outstanding SAE projects may be recognized with proficiency awards at the state and national level. In FFA, SAE’s are meant to give members real world, hands-on experience in agriculture.

Besides SAE’s, FFA members can also learn new skills by participating in Career Development Events (CDE’s) which are held by various colleges and universities throughout California and the United States.

CDE’s are events that allow students to compete with members from other chapters in a multitude of contests such as livestock judging, computer applications, agronomy, ag pest, ag sales, veterinary science, and agriscience research. In fact, Escalon FFA’s very own Alexa Anderson will be competing with her Agriscience Research Project at the National FFA Convention and Expo this fall in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to giving students the opportunity to test their knowledge and skill, these CDE’s often allow students to learn more about a particular career pathway that they may be interested in pursuing after high school or college.

Other than teaching practical skills, FFA also works to develop leadership qualities. One way FFA accomplishes this is by encouraging students to participate in FFA’s many public speaking competitions.

Among the public speaking competitions FFA members can participate in are the extemporaneous, impromptu, prepared, and job interview contests. In these competitions, members are evaluated and scored on their ability to produce and deliver a speech or response with varying levels of preparation. By doing this, FFA produces confident, effective speakers that will lead the way in agriculture in the years to come.

When it comes to opportunities in FFA, these just scratch the surface. This doesn’t even include the countless community service activities Escalon FFA members are encouraged and given the chance to participate in.

Escalon FFA will begin its “You’ve been Farmed!” fundraiser in September. If you see any statuesque farm critters on your front lawn, don’t be alarmed! These well-meaning animals are looking for a new home. With just a small donation, our highly qualified transportation specialists will keep this herd moving off your lawn so they can find greener pastures. And if you’re feeling extra generous, for another small donation we can move this wandering herd to a home of your choice!

In addition to this, we will also be holding a drive through barbeque fundraiser on November 10, so if you would like to attend, make sure to find an FFA member to sell you tickets or contact Gypsy Stark at

We thank our community for all the support it has given us over the years and hope we can count on that support in the future so we can continue to thrive as a chapter, promote American Agriculture, provide opportunities to our members, and above all live to serve!