In two days we will be welcoming over 400 FFA Greenhands into our high school. This is conjuring up exciting, humbling, and nerve-racking feelings all at once! Over three months of preparation with six committed District Officers along with help/guidance from countless others has gotten us to this point.
Three months ago during District Leadership Retreat we asked ourselves one driving question: What do our North Central District FFA Chapters need from us?
The answers we kept wrestling with came back to an engaged membership and cultivating experiences/connections that last. Greenhand Conference was going to be our first real opportunity to step up and challenge ourselves towards those goals. Read Make it Count if you are interested in some additional context from retreat.
So here we are now. Our theme for this year’s Greenhand Conference is Preparing for the Journey. During Greenhand Conference we have the rare opportunity in having all first year FFA members gathered together under one roof. This also being the first FFA experience that many of these young members have participated in; we are literally jumpstarting their journey in FFA.
This journey through our organization will look different for each of these members, as it should! Our hope during Greenhand Conference is to showcase the limitless opportunities that exist for our members and plant the seeds of future involvement. Engagement in our FFA chapters will increase when our members feel that they belong, when they know there is a place for each of them, along with their interests and passions! To belong is to feel a part of a community. That sense of community must begin when they first enter through the doors of our high school this Wednesday.
We hope to see the fruits of our Greenhand members’ engagement this year, but we recognize anything worth focusing on and doing will take time. Sustaining the excitement and energy after Greenhand Conference far into the future will be our goal. We hope to facilitate a conference that will plant the seeds of lasting connections; between officers and members, and most importantly between members of other chapters. Focusing on forging lasting connections will do more than anything in cultivating community that will lead to committed engagement among all our members.
Finally, our lasting hope for each new member is that they not only see themselves belonging, but they see and recognize their value, their inner greatness, and the potential of their contribution. We need our Greenhands, that’s the short and simple of it. For today, but especially for tomorrow, when they will be asked to fill the leadership roles within our chapters.
We are gearing up for our Greenhand members and we thank all our NCD Advisors who see the value of bringing their youngest members to this conference. We pray it will be a game-changer. Bring on the GREENHANDS!
Blog Note: For those who are regular readers and not involved in a local Agricultural Education program, Greenhands are first year members in our organization. Each year our district puts on a conference for these first year FFA members. This tradition is long-standing in our state with similarly structured events having been recorded as early as 1930 in some parts of our state. Thanks for reading and sharing in this exciting adventure!