“Learning to do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve,” has been a statement that resonates loudly with more than 555,000 students nationwide that are a part of the National FFA Organization (FFA previously stood for Future Farmers of America, but in 1988 they officially changed their name to the National FFA Organization). FFA promotes agriculture and leadership inside and outside of a classroom setting.
For around 60 students at MSU, FFA played a large role in their respective high school’s and they wanted to give back and still be a part of FFA in some way. Collegiate FFA (CFFA) seeks to further enhance National FFA’s mission by “empowering value-driven pre-professionals to lead and serve in schools, businesses and communities.” MSU’s CFFA president, sophomore Shanna Olsen, noted that the purpose of “CFFA is to enhance the collegiate experience through service and engagement so that it can help create premier leaders, enable personal growth and ensure career success.”
“I met lifelong friends in FFA and it gave me so much,” MSU Sophomore Ashley Finley said, “And I didn’t want to see that go away after high school.” Finley, who is a member of the CFFA chapter at MSU says she is “excited to see what the club can become.”
To fulfill CFFA’s mission the club focuses on three main components: community development, chapter development and member development. CFFA’s vice president, Emily Muir, who is a senior at MSU, said, “I think the community service aspect is great and CFFA helps spread the word of agriculture.” As community service is at the forefront of the clubs focus, they have partnered with other campus clubs such as the Young Farmers and Ranchers for volunteer activities including the Gallatin Valley Food Bank’s Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat.
CFFA also helps with FFA events across Montana. This weekend, Nov. 13-15, marks the fourth annual John Deere Ag Expo and the second Ag Expo to be held at MSU. As over 1,400 high school students, advisors and supporters descend upon MSU’s campus, students involved in CFFA will help set up and judge a variety of competitions ranging from livestock judging to job interviews to agricultural communications.
In the future, the club hopes to raise money to attend the National FFA Convention held each year in Louisville, Kentucky which attracts over 72,000 FFA members, supporters and guests. Standley notes that, “It costs $20 to become an official CFFA member, and our meetings are held every other Thursday in Linfield hall. You don’t have to have been in FFA in high school to join.”
For Olson, she is optimistic about the future. “I’m excited to see our chapter grow. We have so much potential, and I look forward to seeing what we can do for our campus, community and state in the upcoming year.
For more information about CFFA, email President Shanna Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org