Centralia FFA was named Premier Chapter in Building Communities and placed 18th out of 347 chapters in the state, earning a Top Chapter Award at the 91st Missouri FFA Convention. Only 10 percent of state chapters receive a top chapter designation each year.
“I think this is really cool,” said Scott Stone, Centralia High School FFA advisor and agriculture teacher. “Because it recognizes us as a chapter that is working with Centralia to better the community and the surrounding area. I think it is a testimony to the fact our Ag. program is dedicated benefitting Centralia and the surrounding community. It shows our programs such as ‘Needle in a Haystack,’ which encourages people to shop local, our holiday food drive, the appreciation luncheon, work with the Centralia, Boone and Audrain County fairs are all appreciated.”
The Centralia FFA building communities activities included Shop Local. Members sold locally-produced items as part of their annual fruit sales to help promote local producers. In addition, the chapter processed 150 red oak seedlings to give to fourth-grade students to plant at their homes and conducted a tree-planting ceremony to demonstrate the importance of preserving the environment.
Tim Stevens, president of the Centralia Chamber of Commerce echoed some of Stones sentiments. “Absolutely, this is a great honor for a great bunch of kids,” he said. “Those students get involved in supporting the community. I think the award speaks highly of them and of their advisor Scott Stone. Their activities such as the Easter egg hunt, the fruit sales and assistance with the lighted Christmas parade, fairs and shop local activities is really appreciated.”
Growing leaders activities included Project Leadership. First-year members were required to present the FFA Creed, understand parliamentary procedure and develop a supervised agricultural experience project.
Chapter activities in the strengthening agriculture category included an agricultural-issue-on-display event. Members presented pros and cons of an agricultural issue facing the community to more than 700 individuals of diverse backgrounds.
The National Chapter Award Program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities that emphasize growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership. This award is sponsored by FCS Financial. The Centralia FFA advisors are Kelsay Bruns, Lori Lewis and Scott Stone.