The Washington FFA Association held two of its biggest summer conferences, the Washington Agriculture Leadership Experience (WALE) and District Officer Training (DOT) in Yakima in July, hosting approximately 200 students who earned their way to the conference through application and selection processes.
The WALE conference, held for the fourth consecutive year in the Yakima Valley, allowed students from across the state to immerse themselves in Washington agriculture and Washington careers. Students learned common practices from industry representatives, while at the same time, experiencing a hands-on tour of their operation or place of business.
Some of the conference tours included tree fruit production and processing, as well as the wine grape and hop industries, which are some of the biggest in the nation. FFA members also met with human resource professionals to construct and perfect industry-ready resumes and cover letters.
The District Officer Training, hosted by the Washington State FFA Officer Team, is training specific for FFA members who have been elected to assume the responsibility of leading their FFA district, a regional group of FFA chapters, to promote premier leadership, personal growth and career success.
The training included workshops and breakout sessions with the state officers and how to lead districts with purpose.
“DOT was the first time my district officer team got to work together and prepare for the year,” said Seth Smith, current state president and past district officer. “This year my state officer team and I are really looking forward to setting the tempo for the districts and the year inspiring them to be leaders, just like past state officers did for me.”
The Washington Agriculture Leadership Experience and District Officer Training work to engage the student participants and inspire them to grow in their leadership, make their communities stronger and strengthen American agriculture.