Opening the Barn Doors to New Possibilities

Ailani Maximo-Beltran

There is a new change to FFA, Future Farmers of America. A recent grant, “Preparing Florida’s Workforce Through Agricultural Education,” from the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis was given to Florida’s FFA to further agricultural education.

The grant covers the membership cost for students. This year, any student in an agriculture class at Parrish Community High School is eligible to be an FFA member and have their fees covered. This caused an increase in members. There are about 150 active members and about 500 members in total.

While having many new members might be challenging, the FFA advisors Susan Grainger, Julia Roy, and Caitlyn Greene are taking this head-on. Grainger states, “That’s a new thing and we are adapting to that a little bit since some students don’t quite understand the possibilities that they now have,”

This is opening the door to many students. One of whom, Madison Dell, senior, has been in the program since she was a freshmen. Madison explains how it has shown her a sense of family, made her a much better leader, and has overall made her more outgoing.

There are many chances for a student to discover something fun for them. Advisor Caitlyn Greene stated “Ag can open an individual up to many doors! Public speaking, hardworking, growing plants, caring for animals, diverse opportunities to make them ready for the career field of any choice!”

This hardworking chapter earned a three-star rating nationally, and it is one of two chapters to earn this award in Manatee County. To earn the highest star rating, the chapter had to complete an application and completed many different competitions to be eligible.

Julia Roy, advisor, states “We were selected to be a three-star program FFA chapter nationally and we are going to be recognized on the national FFA convention stage” This is the first time the chapter had gotten this award. The star scale goes up to three stars making it the highest.

FFA’s chapter officers attended a leadership training on Oct. 5 to learn how to better serve their chapter and community. Leadership can apply these skills in the next FFA meeting, Oct. 10, and FFA will host a guest speaker from Warner University. This meeting, and future meetings, will be held in Grainger’s room 5-

FFA Students
Group Picture of FFA at state convention

Student with Pig
Madison Dell at Fair