What is FFA?

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Oakdale’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) has been plowing down the fields and kicking off their chapter this year. Members of the FFA are enthusiastic about their organization and their new advisor, Ms. Quinn Cashell. “I am a Penn State graduate with a degree in Agriculture and Extension Education.  I grew up in South Central PA on a dairy farm.” Cashell said.

She shared how enthusiastic she is to be the new advisor for Oakdale FFA.

“The potential of the Oakdale FFA is tremendous.  We have very energetic members who are ready to start building up the program and creating new traditions.”

Being an FFA member can help students to learn new skills.

Ms. Cashell explains, “The blue jacket has the ability to take students as far as they let it. The FFA is a national organization with over 600,000 members.  Students who choose to take the time and put in the effort are rewarded greatly.  Agriculture is needed every single day.  Agricultural Education is so much more than cows, sows, and plows.  FFA members have the opportunity to conduct their own Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) on anything ranging from employment to a research project focusing on biofuels or genetically modified organisms.  Members not only have the opportunity to make themselves a better citizen, but they also have the opportunity to earn scholarships to put towards furthering their education.  The opportunities available to FFA members are truly endless.”

Sophomore Madison Feltner, President of this year’s Oakdale FFA chapter, tells about what being in FFA has done for her, “I have learned tons from being in FFA! For example, how to be a leader, make goals and to be a better person by being nice to everyone, and sticking up for what I believe in. Also, I’ve learned there is a lot about agriculture that’s not just farming.”

Her aspirations include being an auctioneer and a Department of Natural Resources police officer. “FFA is giving me knowledge and wisdom on how to be a better person and more hardworking to help benefit my future. My outlook on life has changed through FFA by helping look and see myself better than before also it has helped create many new great friendships,” Feltner explains.

Sophomore Cahlen Cheatham, the Vice President of this year’s Oakdale FFA chapter details his experience, “Since, I have been in FFA, I have obtained knowledge on a wide range of topics. I have competed in the Dairy Products evaluation CDE and also the Veterinary Science CDE. While studying and preparing for the competitions, I was able to expand my knowledge on both agricultural subjects.” Not only that, but “being in FFA has taught me many valuable lessons, such as speaking in front of large groups of people with confidence, how to get along with nearly anyone, how to be a leader and plan events. FFA has prepared me for tasks in life such as, keeping records, managing money, giving presentations, and even having a positive influence on those around me.”

Oakdale FFA’s chapter meetings are held on most Fridays during SET, and students have to be enrolled in an agricultural class either first or second semester in order to join.

-Hollis Zimmerman