The Neosho High School FFA, and FFA chapters from across the state, will be better served after more than 1,200 local chapter officers and 186 advisors from 138 chapters participated in the May 31-June 3 LEAD training at eight locations across Missouri.

The Neosho High School FFA, and FFA chapters from across the state, will be better served after more than 1,200 local chapter officers and 186 advisors from 138 chapters participated in the May 31-June 3 LEAD training at eight locations across Missouri.
Advisor Austin Steele and eight of 11 Neosho FFA officers attended the LEAD (Learn, Educate, Advance, and Develop) sessions at Crowder College in Neosho to help prepare each officer team for their terms of service during the upcoming school year.
Neosho’s was among about 15 officer teams at Crowder where Steele said the presentations were led by past FFA state officers.
“And they talked about advocating for agriculture and working together as a team and building communications so that when problems arise with an officer team or within the chapter the chapter officers know how to handle those situations and they can communicate well with others and do what’s best for the chapter in whatever situation may arise,” Steele said.
In addition to team-building and bonding opportunities, the officers had the opportunity to work on their chapters’ Program of Activities, guidelines for leading a chapter meeting, and help with planning an FFA event. They also had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on leading a meeting, planning events, and more in depth knowledge on advocating.
“The conference is really designed to help kids build those leadership skills they need to lead the chapter and those communication skills that they really need to communicate effectively with the younger members who aren’t necessarily officers in that group,” Steele continued. “Our officer team was elected in May right before our end-of-the-year banquet so this is a new officer team that will serve for the 2016-2017 school year.”
Through interactive workshops the facilitators encouraged the officer teams to reach outside their comfort zone to provide leadership opportunities for their local chapters. Steele feels the exercise will be fruitful for the entire chapter.
“I think the chapter can benefit tremendously because these students that went to this conference got to learn some new leadership skills and learn how to communicate well with others,” he observed. “And that can translate back into the chapter if there is a problem that arises or we need to get the word out about an event going on. These officers are now trained – or better trained – to help communicate effectively with those members and let them know when activities or events are coming up. I think it will just help benefit our chapter tremendously to have these students that participated to bring their knowledge back to the chapter and to the local level.”

Mikayla Winchester, Regan Rogers, Regan Price, Rylee Widener, Jacob Galbraith, Madison VanDorn, Elizabeth Bailey and Sailor Reed attended the training with Steele, which was also conducted at Shelbina Catholic Church, Shelbina; North Central Missouri College Ketchum Center, Trenton; Richmond High School, Richmond; State Fair Community College, Sedalia; Missouri State University, Springfield; Rolla Junior High School, Rolla; and Cape Girardeau Technical School, Cape Girardeau.

The FFA is a national youth organization of more than 620,000 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 343 chapters and more than 25,800 members in Missouri.
The FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.