Marsing, Idaho, FFA members Logan Stansell and Ashley Loucks have returned from the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., where they took part in an extensive development program and visited some of the nation’s capital’s most important historic sites.
Stansell is the chapter vice president and Loucks is the chapter secretary. They were accompanied by advisory board chairwoman and Marsing teacher Wendy Stansell during the July 11-16 session.
They were among many FFA members from throughout the country who converged on the nation’s capital this summer to evaluate their personal skills and interests, develop leadership and create service plans that will make a difference in their communities.
Stansell said highlights of the week included Arlington National Cemetery changing of the guard, the monument night tour, the Mount Vernon tour and meeting chapter members from across the U.S. He roomed with students from North Dakota, Alabama and Wisconsin.
Loucks said the highlights for her were Arlington, Mount Vernon and roommates from Wisconsin, Kentucky and Missouri.
More than 2,300 students attended the Washington Leadership Conference, the second-largest student event that the National FFA Organization hosts each year, according to an FFA press release. It was created in 1969 and is held annually.
FFA members attended the conference during one of seven weeks through July 29. They spent the week under the guidance of professionals, counselors and FFA staff.
In workshops, seminars and small groups, members focused on identifying and developing their personal strengths and goals while undergoing comprehensive leadership training that will help them guide their local FFA chapters. The capstone of the event was a civic engagement activity where participants applied what they learned to a hands-on activity.
Members also analyzed the needs of their communities, developed wide-ranging and high-impact community service initiatives and will implement their plans with the help of their FFA chapters upon return home. Students in recent years have promoted agricultural literacy, brought attention to abuse, collected and distributed shoes to individuals in Haiti and created a hunger awareness plan.
FFA members also experienced the history of the nation’s capital and toured landmarks including the Washington Monument, War Memorial, the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol. Members also had an opportunity to participate in congressional visits during the week.
The 2017 Washington Leadership Conference was sponsored by title sponsors CSX, Monsanto, Farm Credit and weekly sponsor Valent. For more information, visit FFA.org/WLC.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 649,355 student members who belong to one of 7,859 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.