Hailey Brock, Hanna Brock and Jacob Timm of the Gillett FFA Chapter attended the Wisconsin Association of FFA FIRE Conference, October 5 at the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis. FIRE stands for “Foundations in Reaching Excellence.” The conference helps young FFA members discover opportunities in the FFA organization and gain valuable leadership skills. This is one of three conferences held around the state of Wisconsin for seventh, eighth and ninth grade FFA members. Over 600 members will attend these three conferences during September and October.
The State FFA FIRE Conference is designed to inform beginning FFA members about the FFA and motivate them to participate in its many activities. Students learned about communication skills, social skills, goal setting, FFA awards and programs, and opportunities in agriculture along with developing leadership skills to help them be effective members in their local chapters.
The conference is conducted by the 2012-2013 State FFA Officer Team along with assistance from the Fox Valley Technical College Postsecondary Agricultural Students (PAS) organization. Kayla Hack, State FFA President along with her fellow state FFA officers developed this conference around the theme “Going for the Blue and Gold”. All of the state officers encouraged students that attended the FIRE Conference to set goals for their FFA involvement and meet people from around the state who can help them reach those goals.
Not only does this conference help students understand the FFA organization and all its opportunities, but helps them develop skills in meeting people, working with others and setting goals with a plan of action. “In the FFA, we assist members starting in seventh grade to develop skills they will need for future careers and opportunities,” said Cheryl Zimmerman, State FFA Executive Director. “FFA develops the whole person and these young members are taking a step in the right direction.”
The Wisconsin FFA Association is comprised of over 250 local chapters with nearly 19,000 members gaining leadership for the future of agriculture. FFA activities and award programs complement instruction in agriculture education by giving students practical experience in the application of agricultural skills and knowledge gained in classes. FFA’s mission is to develop members’ potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.