Our new agricultural science/FFA teachers, Kaleigh and Dean Black, are doing an outstanding job this year.
Texas FFA Association celebrates 90 years in 2019, while Salado FFA has been teaching Salado students the importance of Agricultural Education for well 60 over years. From leadership events to archery, floral design to livestock shows, community events and conventions; Salado FFA is paving the way today for member success tomorrow. Today the former “Future Farmers of America” (now simply referred to as the National FFA Organization) is boasting 21st century innovations that can give students a distinct advantage. The incorporation of cross-curricular STEM fundamentals, paired with the critical thinking achieved through project-based learning make agricultural science and FFA a proven combination for student success.
FFA is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives by upholding the values in the very core of its mission statement. The focus is placed on preparing students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Salado FFA develops members’ potential and helps them discover their individual talent through hands-on experiences, giving members the tools to achieve real-world success in any industry of their interest. The Salado FFA chapter has something for everyone.
Students in grades 3-7 have the opportunity to be members in the Salado Junior FFA. In grades 8-12 the FFA is a co-curricular organization, where membership eligibility is concurrent with course enrollment. Beginning in 8th grade, students have the opportunity to become Salado FFA members by enrolling in the introductory agriculture course at Salado Junior High. This course provides a discovery experience exposing students to various facets of the agriculture industry; allowing them to achieve a unique understanding of global agriculture and its influence on their individual lives.
The next opportunity for exposure to the 21st century model for agricultural education comes in 9th grade where students are encouraged to enroll in the Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources course. This is where students will develop a more specific program of study in one of the three agricultural science course pathways: Ag Mechanics and Metal Systems, Animal Systems, and Plant Systems. From there, Salado ISD has a variety of courses such as: Floral Design (also serves as an Art credit), Advanced Animal Science (an honors course that will satisfy a fourth year science credit), Professional Standards in Agribusiness (also serves as a Speech credit), as well as Ag Mechanics and Wildlife just to name a few. Students leave high school not only with the lifelong support of an organization behind them, but also equipped with industry recognition and certifications.
Salado FFA members are future chemists, veterinarians, government officials, entrepreneurs, bankers, international business leaders, teachers and premier professionals in many career fields. No matter the student’s interest or desired path, members are united by the bond of the same blue corduroy jacket, and the promise of “better days through better ways.” The expectation is that members take with them an important principle of the FFA motto, “Living to Serve.” Students in FFA share common ground such as being a part of the largest student organization in the world, and all the benefits that membership entails:
* The opportunity to apply for more than $2 million in National scholarships, and well over $2.2 million in state and local awards.
* The platform to meet new friends from across the country.
* The ability to acquire skills and industry certifications that will help you in your future career.
* A chance to compete on leadership and judging teams.
* Servant Leadership: Doing your part in helping to provide food and fiber to the world.
There is no exception to this in Salado ISD. Just a few highlights from the Program of Activities as another successful year for Salado FFA is quickly unfolding:
* Hosted the annual Central Texas State Fair Petting Zoo to advocate for agriculture for hundreds of local youth.
* Involvement with community groups for various projects and needs: Salado Education Foundation, Keep Salado Beautiful, Salado Youth Fair Boosters, Salado Athletics, Salado 4H, Boy Scouts, and more.
* Served to establish the constitution and bylaws for the newly formed Area XII Association, making their mark on Texas FFA history.
* Hosted Salado FFA Events: 1st Salado FFA Skeet Shoot Showdown, 3rd Eagle Invitational Annual Leadership Development Event
* Earned a grant from the National Archery in the Schools program to start the Salado FFA Archery Team, and qualified 25 shooters for the State Tournament in Belton in March 21st.
* Members participated in the 31st Annual Bell County Youth Fair with members earning 176 individual awards and over $65,000 across the Livestock, Farm Shop and Family Consumer Divisions.
* Competed at livestock shows across the state and nation with members earning over $30,000 more in scholarships and premiums (and still counting).
* Scheduled to compete in Career Development and Public Speaking contests in the weeks ahead for a chance to represent on the state and national stage.
The lifetime experience gained through agricultural education and the longstanding success of FFA have created this year’s theme: “A Tradition Unlike Any Other” as not only a celebration of where the chapter has been, but also to propel them to new heights. Through continuous efforts from Ag instruction/FFA advisors and student leadership, we constantly create unique opportunities for students to shine. From pigs to pink carnations, welding rods to bows and arrows, fishing poles to landscape squares and all that is in between; one thing is certain the future is bright for Salado FFA and its members!
For more information contact Kaleigh or Dean Black.
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The next Salado FFA meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 16, 2018 at 6:30 pm in the Salado High School cafeteria.