Triopia High School organizes Leadership Day

Triopia High School organizes Leadership Day

by Eric A Thomas

No doubt this area of the Midwest is full of farmland and all sorts of agricultural production; there are so many lives and businesses involving agriculture that together, they make up the backbone of our Midwest society. Moreover, on a youth level, it would be rare if an area high school did not have an active FFA. According to the website, www.fff.org, “FFA is an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. It is one of the three components of agricultural education. The official name of the organization is the National FFA Organization. The letters ‘FFA’ stand for Future Farmers of America. These letters are a part of our history and our heritage that will never change … FFA is not just for students who want to be production farmers; FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners and more. For this reason, the name of the organization was updated in 1988 after a vote of national convention delegates to reflect the growing diversity and new opportunities in the industry of agriculture.” The official name of the organization was changed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization.

One area high school recently hosted a Leadership Day for their entire school, and it was a huge success. With over half of the 120-student population at Triopia High School belonging to their local FFA chapter, their FFA advisor teamed up with alumni from that group to organize this special schoolwide Leadership Day event on Friday, February 26.

There were 16 different workshops offered, which were presented by 28 volunteers. During the lunch hour, 25 agricultural industry and college technical program professionals gathered to offer a mini career fair. “This was the first time we have offered this event,” stated Genny Six, FFA advisor.” We had everyone involved complete an evaluation form … and overwhelmingly the comments were positive and confirmed that this would be an annual event.”

The workshop topics included time management, interviews, teamwork, human resources/how to fill out an application, advancement in a career, budgeting, social media presence, affecting change, credit/getting a loan, diversity and inclusion, goal setting, professional dress, changing a tire/checking the oil, plus three workshops on public speaking – preparation, delivery and media. According to Six, this was a great way to talk to students about life beyond high school. “We had a low ratio of students to volunteers, making it easy for students to ask questions about how to pursue careers, improve personal growth skills and help them plan for the future,” she added.

FFA is a well-established student organization present in many secondary schools nationwide. “The primary goal of each FFA chapter is to make a positive difference in the lives of its members by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education,” remarked Six. “We are so grateful for all of the volunteers who took time from their schedules to help students prepare for their future. We know that investing in youth is one of the best ways to ensure the success of our communities.”

Six draws on her own experiences to help her teach others. “After marrying my husband, a Triopia native, we moved here. We farm in the Triopia community and believe it is important to give back,” she commented. “I was strongly involved in FFA as a high school and college student before training to be an agriculture education teacher. We see the value of our education in our lives.”

In closing, Six and her Leadership Day crew are very grateful to the administration and staff at Triopia High School for supporting this event and to the community for providing the manpower to make it happen. “This event was very heartwarming,” she concluded. “Students worked hard to overcome fear of public speaking, were challenged to set goals for their future and were encouraged to live well in the community with others.”

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