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Young FFA chapter expands communication
Danville and New London FFA students continue to grow their chapter
Feb. 21, 2023 1:39 pm
DANVILLE — The Danville FFA chapter, which partners with New London schools, welcomed a new FFA Advisor Jessica Lunde this year.
Under Lunde’s leadership, the chapter has revamped their website, started a monthly newsletter, served the community, and grown through educational experiences.
“So, our chapter is really young,” Lunde said. “The majority of my officers are freshmen and sophomore.”
In fact, the chapter’s president Conner Hill is a freshman and the vice president, Chloe Fisher is a sophomore.
“The chapter is only five years old,” she explained. “It was chartered in 2018.”
“We currently share our program with Danville and our students go over there for class,” New London High School Principal Scott Kracht said.
Taylea Palar and Makynna Carpenter travel from New London to participate in this young, enthusiastic program.
As part of an entry for Career Development Events (CDEs), Danville’s FFA Chapter assigned two students to take the lead on the www.danvilleiaffa.org website.
The website describes the chapter as one that “strives to achieve an increase in the level of chapter involvement through recruitment, community events, CDE’s [Career Development Events] and LDE's [Employment Skills Leadership Development Event] while reflecting a positive attitude displayed by all the members.”
“Caroline Nealey and Madisyn Wyett are the managers of the website, this year,” Lunde said.
In addition to their work with the website, Wyett acts as the chapter treasurer, and Nealy holds office as the Sentinel.
The chapter launched this new website just this year.
“[The website] is new when I got here this year,” Lunde said. “I wanted to set up this website to dump all of our information onto and just so the community could be aware and our members could RSVP for events and things like that.”
The site offers register for upcoming events, photos of the chapter in action, a directory of chapter members, contact information, a blog, and so much more.
Along with the easily accessible information through the chapter website, co-reporters Alexis Hawkins and Taylea Palar released the first edition of “Danville FFA’s News & Notes” at the end of January.
“This newsletter will be used to inform you, members, parents, supporters, and the community about our chapter as it grows further on,” the first edition states.
The newsletter features a member spotlight and shares a few highlights from the month of January.
“At our January Meeting on the 14th, our Vice President, Chloe Fisher, put together a career panel of several local community members,” the newsletter shares. “Members were able to ask real-world questions about career expectations and related life experiences.”
Danville FFA Reporters also shared about their experience hosting an Elementary FFA Day.
The day consisted of half-hour workshops introducing students to FFA, safe animal handling, and teamwork.
The chapter’s volunteerism this year also included putting together twenty “Grow Your Own Garden” kits to hand out to the elementary classrooms when members visited the classes to read to the elementary.
In addition to upgrading communications, the chapter spends time giving back to the community that supports them through fundraisers, resources, and volunteerism.
“I really would like to do more community service and outreach,” Lunde said. “We did a community breakfast where we did a freewill donation meal.”
“Community members could come in on a Saturday and we had a big breakfast,” she said. “We served 207 people that morning.”
Nov. 19, the chapter served this inexpensive community breakfast with sponsorships from Bob Dodds Insurance and Danville State Savings Bank. They will also host a breakfast for Danville teachers during FFA Week.
The chapter currently runs three committees: Growing Leaders, Building Communities, and Strengthening Agriculture.
The Growing Leaders committee works on the following activities: Health Path, two stations about lifestyles and mindset, State Leadership Conference, A+B Honor Roll, and Career Panel.
The Building Communities committee works on donating trees, highway cleanup, public breakfast, and the community scavenger hunt during FFA week.
The Strengthening Agriculture committee focuses on Fun Day, Animal Walk Through, Farm Safety Day, Ag Day with the Elementary, and Ice Cream Madness during National FFA Week.
Danville’s FFA has grown in their agricultural education experiences by participating in events like soil judging.
“That was their first time attempting soil judging,” Lunde said.
The chapter also attended the Youth Livestock Judging Competition.
“We got 32nd out of over 100 senior teams, so, that was pretty good,” Lunde said of the Chapter’s placement at the competition. “This was their first time doing that.”
According to Lunde, Danville FFA’s Vice President Chloe Fisher placed 43rd out of 706 students at the same competition.
“We’re very proud of her,” Lunde said.
Like many other FFA Chapters, Danville’s prepares for Sub Districts competitions at Central Lee.
According to Lunde, Sub Districts are Feb. 20 and mark the start of National FFA week.
“During National FFA Week we have several different events going on,” Lunde said. “We do a drive your tractor to school day, an animal walk through that has information about each livestock … and the owner of the livestock will bring it in and allow the kids to touch and learn about the livestock on Wednesday, a teacher breakfast on Thursday, and then on Friday, in the afternoon, we have an eighth hour fun day for the whole school district.”
While there is no school that Monday, Feb. 20, every day following also encourages students to celebrate FFA through dress-up days.
The dress up days include “Country Club or Country Chic Day,” “Carhartt and Hat Day,” “’Merica Day,” and “Blue and Gold Day.”
“I find that we really enjoy trying to create fun events that members can be a part of,” Lunde said.