Albion FFA Alumni considered model for other chapters
The president of the Albion FFA Alumni attended a regional conference with FFA leaders from several states this past weekend in Rochester.
Barry Flansburg was able to share how the Albion FFA Alumni have built an army of FFA supporters to help the Albion FFA chapter put on events, including competitions that draw FFA students from the region and state.
The Albion FFA Alumni also help round up fruits and vegetables after the harvest, which are part of the 30,000 pounds donated each year to Community Action and other local food pantries.
The alumni drop off tractors, gates and animals for the Mini Farm Day, and also help plant and harvest crops at the school’s Land Lab.
“We know how to get lots of volunteers to do lots of things,” said Flansburg. “You serve as an extended hand for your ag teacher and help put on events.”
There are about 200 FFA chapters in the state, but Albion is one of only seven that has an alumni chapter. Flansburg and the representative from the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill FFA Alumni Chapter near Utica represented NY at the regional conference.
The National FFA is looking for ways to strengthen alumni connections, to serve graduates and supporters of the FFA program, and also to utilize their skills in helping current FFA students.
The work of the Albion FFA Alumni hasn’t gone unnoticed, Flansburg said.
“As alumni, it is our responsibility to serve as a source of relief for our agriculture educators as well as attract new volunteers and supporters to help our FFA programs,” said National FFA Alumni Executive Director Josh Rusk. “Our hope is that the regional development conferences will give alumni the tools and support they need to be successful in that endeavor.”
This conference was one of six to be held this year. The other locations for the conferences include Oklahoma City, Burbank, Wash.; Ankeny, Iowa, Atlanta, Ga. and Oxford, Ohio.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Flansburg said the FFA is looking to establish a database of FFA students and alumni that will include resumes and opportunities to network for job opportunities or to help FFA chapters with projects.