Two women have followed their hearts and are encouraging others to do the same as they work to form a collegiate chapter of the Futer Farmers of America(FFA). Founder, Carolyn Lawrence ‘14 and Co-founder, Daniele Riley ‘14 initiated the new club to promote their interest in agriculture at the end of the fall semester last year.
Since then, a growing interest in “all things agriculture” around campus has led to a successful campaign by the two women for the Wilson chapter of FFA to become state and nationally chartered.
“We are still in the process of filling out the paperwork, once that happens, we will be able to compete in the various FFA events,” said Lawrence.
Those events include all the different aspects of the agricultural industry. From livestock to floriculture (otherwise known as flowers) to public speaking, the FFA provides opportunities for every interest or major area of study.
“I wanted to help bring FFA here because it was such a big part of my high school life. There are many contests that you can participate in and I learned so much from them,” said Riley. “Even if I didn’t know anything about the subject of the contest I would still try to participate to learn something new.”
Lawrence and Riley remain positive that the same passion that they bring to the FFA will be embraced and shared by the rest of the local community. So far, FFA sponsored events have drawn a promising crowd. On Feb. 22, 2013, an ice-cream making event left participants with a full belly and a good impression of FFA.
“We made the ice cream in a baggie. It was fun and simple and something that we did in my high school Ag. club,” said Riley. “It brought some recognition to the FFA.”
A Youth Showmanship Clinic will be sponsored by the FFA in the beginning of May. While details of the clinic are still being formed, the event will be held at a local fairground and consist of competitions in sheep and goat showing. The event will also provide insightful tips on rearing and caring for the livestock.
Getting the word out to the community about FFA is the club’s top priority.
Although the new chapter has received a warm welcome from both staff and the students, there will be many opportunities through the club that will require participants. Due to the diversity of interests that the club represents, a diverse membership is required.
“We want to invite anyone to join. We consider the FFA to be a community of people who share the same type of passions,” said Lawrence. “Whether its leadership qualities or other experiences that you’re looking for, the FFA can offer it.”
Look for an all-campus email with details about upcoming FFA meetings and events. To express interest in participating in the new club, contact Carolyn Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or Daniele Riley at email@example.com.