National FFA Week celebration is on at FLHS

School events scheduled through Saturday

This week 540,739 FFA members are celebrating National FFA Week, including the Forest Lake FFA Chapter members.

In Forest Lake, the chapter is taking bows from Feb. 18-25 with a full slate of events for students and staff.

The Forest Lake High School Agriculture Department hosts an annual open house where students and the public are invited to learn more about the program, view student work, and learn about the career opportunities available in agriculture, food and natural resources. Sophomore Mikayla Lee is pictured here working in the greenhouse. Students grow a variety of plants which are available for sale in the department’s greenhouse. This year’s open house is scheduled for Friday, May 4. (Photo submitted)

“I Believe” is this year’s theme, and the FFA motto, “Learning to do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve” summarizes how FFA members are the innovators and leaders of tomorrow, said chapter advisor Mike Miron.

Through agricultural education and hands-on learning, students and chapter members prepare for the more than 300 career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industry.

“The organization truly has something for everyone, ranging from talent competitions and leadership opportunities in public speaking and parliamentary procedure, to career development events in over 25 areas such as fish and wildlife, horse evaluation, small animals, nursery landscape and floral design,” Miron said.

In 2012, FFA is the largest career and technical student organization in the United States.

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Dakota Quimby, a senior FFA member, believes that FFA is an excellent organization for any student.

“FFA provides students with an opportunity to grow as a leader, team member and as a person through both agriculture and non agriculturally related events.” Quimby said. “FFA members leave with the leadership skills and confidence needed for success in today’s society.”

The Forest Lake FFA has consistently been named as one of the best in the nation and has been recognized as one of Minnesota’s “Top Ten” chapters for six consecutive years.

The chapter coordinates several events throughout the year including a Veterans Day Program in November, a WSCA Horse Show in April, Agricultural Education Open House in May, community landscaping in partnership with the city of Forest Lake, and several leadership camps and conferences across the United States.

Agricultural education course offerings have recently expanded to the Forest Lake junior highs providing new opportunities for eighth and ninth grade students. Many students from within the FFA Chapter are following this course work.

Rachael Anderson, the chapter’s president-elect, is excited about the new junior high classes,

“The new junior high classes are a great addition to the agriculture program here at Forest Lake,” Anderson said. “It has been an amazing experience for not only the junior high students, but also for the high school FFA members to come together and work as a team.

“Students at Century and Southwest junior highs will join with high school members as we will be conducting activities during homeroom and lunches to celebrate National FFA Week and promote this wonderful leadership program,” Miron said.

Whether students plan to pursue one of the over 300 agriculture careers, or enhance their leadership skills and community involvement, the FFA provides opportunities for personal growth, he adds.

For more information about the Forest Lake Agricultural Education Department, the FFA chapter, or to enroll in courses, contact an agricultural education instructor at 651-982-8495 or visit the department website at http://flhs.forestlake.k12.mn.us/FFA. The district continues to accept open enrollment possibilities for students interested in any of high school programs in Forest Lake.

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