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F.A. students attends FFA Leadership Rally

Staff Reports

Cordele Dispatch

FORT VALLEY — Fullington Academy FFA members attended the 7th Annual Central Region Leadership Conference at Camp John Hope FFA Center on September 18 and 19.

The purpose of the day leadership rally was to spark interest in FFA members and motivate them to get involved during the upcoming school year in Career Development Events, local Community Service projects, leadership conferences and conventions.

While attending the Central Region Leadership Rally, members heard from motivational speaker Jon Jackson from StagVets/Comfort Farms.

Students rotated through various leadership activities lead by Area 3 and Area 4 officers as well as the central leadership staff. Through these activities students learned communication, team building and leadership skills that will be implemented in Fullington’s own FFA chapter.

Three advisors — Kathy Weesner, Kristi Greer and Kim Floyd, accompanied the group of 12 students at the Leadership Rally.

In addition to learning valuable leadership skills, they were able to compete in a variety of events that helped students decide what they would like to enter during the school year. Some of the Career Clustered Events included: Horticulture Plant Identification, Animal Science Identification, Forestry Identification, Ag Mechanics Identification, an Opening Ceremonies Contest and an Advisor’s Challenge.

During the two-day event, students collected items for veterans and Comfort Farms as part of a community service project.

This community service project partnered with the organization Comfort Farms/StagVets to help veterans that are currently suffering from various issues. The Comfort Farms facility spot-lights traditional therapies combined with programs that are specifically crafted for veterans’ needs, expectations and inner selves. The programs reach veterans’ warrior spirit; not to extinguish the inner fire but to build on it to serve the veterans in a civilian geared society

Comfort Farms, located in Milledgeville, GA, currently prepares veterans and students for careers in sustainable food production that integrates economic profitability, environmental stewardship, and healing through the use of Agri-therapy and time-tested naturalapproaches. The facility also serves veterans in acute situations where time and help are of the essence. They feature a short-term stay lodge that can provide rooms for up to two veterans or one family Comfort Farms is building the resources to offer shelter and therapy that allows veterans to regain strength and re-boot for everyday life and a fulfilling future. Through a rapid deployment system, Comfort Farms provided crisis services for 20 veterans within the first 11- months of operations. As a Training Campus, Comfort Farms also educated and assisted well over 500 veterans within the first 9-months of operations.

Community service is an important part of an FFA chapter serving as one of the three components of the chapter’ s program of activities. Not only does this project say thank you to the brave men and women serving our country overseas, but also gives students a chance to give back to their country’s service men and women. FFA students are required to complete a minimum number of community service hours in order to earn their State FFA degree and other FFA awards.