FFA members discover “The Places They’ll Go” at Summer Leadership Training

Sanborn Central FFA – from left to right, front row: Cheyenne Leonhardt, state secretary; Haley Degen, chapter reporter; Jessica Schmit, chapter president; Shane Gross, chapter advisor; David Strain, state treasurer; back row: Tyler Johnson, chapter parliamentarian; Hannah Spelbring, chapter vice president; Jarid Bechen, chapter treasurer.

The Sanborn Central FFA and Woonsocket FFA attended the annual South Dakota FFA Leadership Retreats at Swan Lake, Viborg.  A total of nine students from the two chapters discovered “The Places They’ll Go” with FFA.
The retreats centered on a Dr. Seuss theme, focusing on “Oh, The Places You’ll Go with FFA.”  FFA members developed and enhanced their leadership skills and self-confidence through interactive learning. The program featured workshops that helped members discover the value of attitude, motivation, passion, personal growth, teamwork and communication.

Woonsocket FFA – from left to right, front row: David Strain, state treasurer; Ty Swenson, chapter student advisor; Aaron Linke, chapter sentinel; Carrietta Schalesky, state reporter; back row: Jonathan Linke, chapter president; Shay Swenson, chapter treasurer; Shane Gross, chapter advisor.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture organized a panel of agricultural industry professionals to speak with FFA members about opportunities in agriculture.  They will use these new skills and ideas to benefit their local chapters and communities.
Retreat attendees also participated in service learning projects and packed 28,728 meals for Kids Against Hunger. In addition, the Sanborn Central FFA Chapter was selected as the “East River Leadership Retreat Best Represented Chapter.”
South Dakota FFA has 3,962 members in 77 school districts in South Dakota, and 557,318 FFA members in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  FFA develops premier leadership, personal growth and career success through high school agriculture education curriculum.
The retreats were directed by the 2013-2014 State FFA Officers: President Makayla Heisler, Newell; Vice President Breanna Bullington, Brookings; Secretary Cheyenne Leonhardt, Groton; Treasurer David Strain, Sturgis; Reporter Carrietta Schalesky, Faith; and Sentinel Shala Larson, Webster.  Retreat staff also included Courtney Schaeffer, Menno; and Kyle Kramer, Flandreau; SD FFA Ambassadors.
The retreat was sponsored by the SD Department of Agriculture, DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto and Northland Ford.  SD Wheat Growers and SD Stockgrowers Association provided folders for each attendee and Mitchell Technical Institute provided pens.

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