Future Farmers of America Alpena Chapter Helps Community Through Agriculture
Earlier this week, we ran a story about the Future Farmers of America Alpena chapter holding their annual fruit and nut sale. Today, we visited their classroom to find out more about what they do.
A chapter that has existed in Alpena since 1936, the Future Farmers of America is a national youth leadership organization that focuses on things like agriculture, technology, and science. Any student in an agricultural program in high school or middle school is welcome to join.
Here at the high school, Melissa Smith is the advisor of the Alpena chapter, where the students are currently transitioning to indoor work due to the winter weather. She talked about the fruit and nut sale that’s beginning soon, and why it’s important to their chapter.
“It’s very much a tradition for our community and our area, and it provides all of the funding for all of our chapter activities,” she said.
The chapter is big on community service, and the money they make from the sale goes towards their ability to help the community, as well as be able to travel for state and national competitions. Smith talked about why the FFA is important beyond just agriculture.
“It’s a great organization for students; it gets them involved in community service, it helps teach them leadership skills, things like public speaking, how to run meetings, how to work in teams, and it just really exposes them to a lot of opportunities that they might not get exposed to otherwise,” she said.
The fruit and nut sale has been happening within the chapter for nearly 60 years. They used to just sell a few fruits here and there, but have expanded now to more fruits, nuts, and candy as well. It’s a great gift idea, and the students have fun with the community while doing it.
“It’s a quality product with a reasonable price, which you don’t always see that with fundraisers,” Smith said.
The deadline to place an order is November 28th, and members will deliver the products on December 14th and 15th, or they can be picked up at the school on the 15th and 16th.