National blue and corn gold: FFA Week 2016


The Agriculture Education/Collegiate Future Farmers of America (CFFA) club is busy wearing national blue and corn gold during National FFA Week Feb. 20 through Feb. 27. The club will advocate for agriculture throughout the week to celebrate. 

Club President Henry Goeden said this year’s FFA week will be different because the National FFA Adviser Steve Brown will come to speak during an agriculture education professional development event. Brown works for the U. S. Department of Education as an education program specialist and is a part of the National FFA Board of Directors. 

CFFA will also visit Brookings Mickelson Middle School during FFA week to expose students to agriculture, Goeden said. The club will be present throughout the day to speak about opportunities in agriculture.

Scott Smalley, the adviser for the SDSU CFFA chapter, said CFFA promotes more than just agriculture. The club also focuses on service, leadership and team building. The club accepts all majors.

“I think it is good to have in the broader sense,” Smalley said. “Good to have that social atmosphere and connectivity to other majors.”

CFFA is an extension of high school FFA chapters. Club member Madison Schafer, an agricultural communication freshman, said the club has the same values and goals as high school FFA, but the club goes about it in different ways. 

The club holds career development events, does community service and goes to “Ag Day” at the Pavilion in Sioux Falls.

One of the largest events the club puts on is the Jackrabbit Invite in November, Kasey Schmidt said, a member of the club and sophomore agricultural education major. About 500 FFA members from South Dakota come to Brookings to compete in competitions that test their leadership skills. Students compete in events such as public speaking, parliamentary procedure, agriculture sales and job interview. 

National FFA Week falls on the week of George Washington’s birthday to honor his legacy as an agriculturist and farmer, according to the National FFA Organization.

Schmidt, who was the parliamentary procedure chair for the Jackrabbit Invite, said she loves celebrating FFA Week even though she’s in college. “I wear blue and gold every day.”