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Crofton FFA Chapter Travels to EDGE Conference

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Forty-three Crofton FFA members traveled to Northeast Community College on October 4 for the FFA EDGE Leadership Conference in Norfolk.

EDGE helps students learn more about all that is possible through FFA and agricultural education, so they can grow as leaders. “EDGE is the perfect opportunity for Crofton FFA members to meet the Nebraska State FFA Officer Team,” commented FFA  Advisor Stephanie Mann, “Many members never get the chance to do so. I feel it is important so that our members see what they can achieve as they grow in their leadership journey throughout high school and beyond.” The Nebraska State FFA Officers helped members develop their leadership skills through various sessions throughout the day.

Each age group attending the conference learned something specific. Junior high students attended the sessions titled “Power to Change,” “Envisioning FFA,” and “Communication is Key.” In “Power to Change,” the students learned how to strengthen their decision-making skills and what it means to make an effective and positive influence. In “Envisioning FFA,” members explored opportunities that are available through the organization. Finally, in “Communication is Key,” participants were educated about communication, body language, and the difference between hearing and listening. “I learned that starting with a cause and a group of supportive people, you can change the world by starting with just you and your community,” commented eighth grader Kaylee Mauch, “I really enjoyed being able to meet new people and I got to know the state officers.”

The underclassmen participated in the workshops “Oh, the Places You’ll Go in FFA,” “How to be a Leader 101,” and “Communication is Key.” In “Oh, the Places You’ll Go in FFA,” members became familiar with proficiencies, degrees, and explored competitive events and leadership opportunities in Nebraska. In “How to be a Leader 101,” students took a look at how leadership can change and increase with strategic effort. “I learned the difference between hearing and listening,” explained sophomore Riley Sprakel, “I enjoyed the games and visiting with people and getting to know people.”

The upperclassmen listened in on sessions including “Walk the Talk,” “Powering Positive Change,” and “Communication is Key.” In “Walk the Talk”, the members discovered what it means to be an agricultural advocate and how to effectively communicate the message of the agricultural industry. In “Powering Positive Change,” members were taught how to be “thermostats” versus “thermometers.” “Thermostats” set the temperature and are therefore leaders, while “thermometers” react to the temperature around them and are instead followers. “I loved EDGE because it is a very interactive and interesting way to learn some new leadership skills that I can use to help guide the other FFA members,” stated junior Lauren Buschkamp.

Students finally ended the day with a review of the sessions and returned back to school.