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August 2016
FFA Leadership Conference

Leadership Conference Focuses on Atwater FFA Freshman

Thirty one 9th grade agriculture students representing the Atwater High School FFA chapter joined over 1000 9th grade agriculture students from the Central FFA Region at the annual FFA Greenhand Leadership Conference. The conference was held in September at the Stanislaus County Agriculture Center in Modesto.  Under the direction of the California FFA Association, this unique conference is designed to assist students with career information and a personal plan towards accomplishing the educational requirements and skills to accomplish each student’s career objective.  “I had a terrific time”, said Freshmen Atwater FFA member Colby Flatt, “I learned a lot about the opportunities that the FFA has to offer in providing us skills to succeed at school and towards a career.”

The conference provided students various workshops and activities geared towards careers in agriculture, opportunities in the FFA, motivation to get involved, and developing a personal plan.  “The conference theme was centered on laying a solid foundation for students to identify educational and personal skills needed to accomplish their career interest,” said Atwater FFA advisor Shelby West. “The students really became enthused with the program and activities, while leaving with a better understanding of what they need to accomplish during their high school years.”

The FFA establishes various levels or “degrees” during one’s FFA experience in high school.  The “Greenhand” degree is the first level a student can obtain as a first-year high school agriculture student/FFA member.  The FFA provides more extensive leadership conferences for sophomores, juniors, and seniors based on the level and degree earned by each student.  The Atwater FFA will be recognizing over 450 students for their FFA Greenhand and Chapter Farmer (2nd year FFA members) degrees in November.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet students from other schools,” said AHS 9th grader Hailey Burris.  “The event was a lot of fun and I learned a little more about what I might want to do in life.”

Participants at this year’s Greenhand Leadership Conference included:  Colby Flatt, Michael Bray, Joseph Kamykowski, Victor Emmanuel Mejia, Laker Gonzalez, Harli Fraguglia, Vanessa Varela, Marissa Nuno, Mayra Angeles, Estrella Venancio, Hannah Prewett, Arturo Valdovinos, Jacob Rhodes, Jacob Ince, Alyssa Carrillo, Maren Reed, Kati Galinedez, Hailey Burris, Jacob Weiss, Wyatt Shambaugh, Richard Dela Rosa, Gabriela Gamble, Ethan Garcia, Katie Porter, Sophia Rhoades, Alondra Maravilla, Sophia Gutierrez, Nikel Barcenas, Kayla Higgins, Aneyle Silvestre, Valerie Sanchez.

Audrey Esau
Atwater FFA Reporter