North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

FFA develops leaders in agriculture industry


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Photo courtesy of the Arlington School District Arlington High School students recently visited a corn maze as part of their club activities. The students are learning skills to make them leaders in the agriculture industry.

You're probably familiar with FFA, formerly Future Farmers of America, through students showing their livestock and agriculture when you visit the county fair, but FFA is much more than that. FFA is developing leaders in the agriculture industry which includes farmers, but also biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers and entrepreneurs.

Three Arlington High School FFA students recently attended the National FFA conference in Indianapolis. The students paid for the trip by growing and selling corn. The students toured farms, attended leadership workshops, worked on public speaking and participated in mock job interviews. At the conference, two graduates from AHS - Amanda Nemnich and Elizabeth Bennett - were awarded the FFA American Degree, which demonstrates the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences. Less than half a percent of FFA members ever earn this award.

"The best part of FFA is meeting different people," said junior Alex Christoferson, who is the chapter president. "You all have something in common."

The Arlington FFA has already visited fish, plant, hog and dairy farms this year and toured a corn maze. Next month, they will be visiting a Christmas tree farm. Students must be enrolled in an agriculture course at AHS in order to join FFA.

"The great thing about FFA is that it's very broad," said Jessica Nemnich, AHS agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. "Each year, we tailor the FFA programing based on what students are interested in."


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