To the EDN:
This past week as we celebrated National FFA week, our community should take pride and note the great accomplishments our local FFA chapter has made. Two years ago the Estherville FFA Chapter and Agricultural Education program was on the list of cuts to be made to solve district budget problems. With much debate, the program was allowed to continue. A new instructor was hired and new life came to the program. The Ag. Ed. Program saw increases of 55-125 percent in every high school class. With some proper planning the Administration can get a schedule worked out that continues allowing more students to enroll in Ms. Lichty's Agricultural courses. The scheduling needs to be so that upper level courses are not always in competition with upper level Ag Educational courses. A great way to continue increasing the numbers at ELC's Ag. Ed. Program is to start offering Ag Education as an exploratory course offered to our 7th and/or 8th grade students. If those students were to get a glimpse into all that is possible in Agriculture today, and their opportunities through the FFA, we would have a full time program once again. The Ag Ed courses and the FFA program are so much more than production agriculture today.
ELC went from 16 FFA members to 32 FFA members who are active and not only competing but doing very well. Last month the Estherville FFA competed at the Sub-District level and received 2nd place in Job Interview, tied for 1st place in Agricultural Sales, and both placed 1st in Prepared Public Speaking and FFA Creed Speaking. The Estherville FFA also has two balloted District Officer Candidates! Congratulations to Ms. Lichty and all the students competing. Good luck in Akron at Districts!
The Chapter's upcoming Parent-Member banquet is a fantastic way for the community to witness firsthand the great accomplishments of these students. This year's banquet will be held Monday, March 21 at 6 p.m. with a Work Auction to follow. Witnessing first hand the students going through proper parliamentary procedures to conduct their business that night is impressive. Many of us could take note of this practice for our own meetings that we are involved in. It has become somewhat of a lost art.
Ms. Lichty has made it easier for local supporters to keep up with their program. You can check out the Estherville FFA Chapter website at esthervilleffa.shutterfly.com or the ELC Ag. Ed. Program at elcaged.shutterfly.com. It is great for dropping the chapter a note of encouragement before competition or checking out their pictures from a recent FFA or Ag Ed. event.
A new way for our community to support our FFA Chapter is to join the Estherville FFA Alumni Chapter that is re-activating. Annual membership is just $15; lifetime membership is $200; corporate membership is $300 (annual). Membership forms can be picked up and dropped off at the ELC high school ag room. This is a fantastic way to show these young men and women, Ms. Lichty, the Administration and the ELC School Board, that we stand behind them and support their continued growth. In case you were wondering, you didn't have to wear the corduroy to support the blue! Anyone can become a member and get involved. It is a very small way to show some really big support to a great bunch of youth in our local FFA Chapter!
Congratulations to the Estherville FFA Chapter on a great year! The community looks forward to hearing all about the great achievements in the coming years. If you are a parent, local business owner, or just a supporter of our youth, I challenge you to find a way to support this great program. Please tell our ELC Administration and School Board how important our local FFA Chapter and Ag. Ed. Programs are to the Estherville area! I just did!
ELC Ag Advisory Council
Parent of 6th, 4th, and PK students