Washington FFA looks to connect to industry
PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington FFA will work to connect members with the greater agriculture industry in the coming year, says a state adviser.
The state convention concluded May 17 with the installation of the new 2014-2015 officers: president Apolinar Blanco of Chelan, Wash., vice president Becca Foote of Yelm, Wash., secretary Maya Wahl of Lind, Wash., treasurer Megan Miller of White River, Wash., reporter Samantha Brown of Stanwood, Wash., and sentinel Lizbeth Bumstead of Pullman, Wash.
Departing president Bailey Peters, of Centralia, Wash., said during her farewell address that farmers like her grandfather live a life of service to provide food, clothing and housing across America.
“We need our farmers to have a sustainable future, but we need you, Washington FFA, to be that future,” she said. “Through your blue jackets, you have infinite potential to impact the world around you. You too can do something great for your community, our country and even our world.”
State FFA adviser Rebecca Wallace, who took over her position in July 2013, believes the state program’s leadership development will help members be ready to enter the workforce at a time when projected agricultural employment is growing.
“The parts that I’m most proud of are all the things that happen outside of convention, that our chapters are doing for their community,” she said.
Wallace said agriculture is in a unique position to meet new state education standards. The new science and engineering practices are student-based learning, which has long been the state FFA’s educational model, she said.
Wallace plans to develop a new state advisory council in the early summer, to carry from middle school, high school and college, community college or technical school and into the industry.
“I am very open to communication from our industry partners, because we need to make sure we are preparing our kids,” she said. “Washington FFA is open, willing and eager to partner with businesses, not only in local communities, but as a state association.”