Harrisburg, PA. – The Pennsylvania FFA Association recently held the third and final weekend of their Agricultural Opportunities Establishes Success (ACES) conference in coordination with the beginning of National FFA Week. Students descended unto Harrisburg from all four corners of the state, and sat through workshops that prepare them to be active leaders in their communities.
The Pennsylvania FFA Association facilitated five workshops that corresponding with current trends in agriculture, agricultural careers, and life after FFA. These workshops were presented by the State FFA Officer team. This team consists of seven young individuals that have given their time and efforts for an entire year to help educate members and spread the message of Pennsylvania agriculture. These state officers also had help from volunteers through the State FFA Alumni association.
The students are tasked with becoming better leaders and taking these skills back to their communities to help inspire, and overall to be a positive role model.
The state officers develop a time of reflection after a dance where they challenge the students to be that positive influence that they have been discussing all day. Sarah Gonzalez, State Secretary, Tricia Hojnowski, State Chaplain, Libby Baker-Mikesell, State President, and Jacob Kline, State Vice President, spoke on the topic of being that influence that you want to see in the world.
Whether it was in a philosophy class in high school where Gonzalez figured life is what you make it, Hojnowski losing a dear friend, being reminded that your name is your legacy by Baker-Mikesell, or Kline honoring his grandparents and challenging the students to become selfless influencers. We are challenged every day to become the people that we want, and if we like it or not we influence the people around us.
On a final note, the members that attended ACES over the past three weekends have developed a sense of urgency on Sunday morning at a special presentation by the Pennsylvania FFA Foundation. This past year a “Living to Serve” grant from The National FFA Organization to help combat hunger in America. They were reminded that 1 out of 5 children are hunger insecure, and they were challenged to take part in helping to change this statistic.