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Several local FFA members swung through the nation’s capital and New York City recently.
FFA IN THE BIG APPLE: Members of local FFA chapters recently attended the Summer Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., and toured around the East Coast. Posing here in Times Square in New York City are, from left to right, Gavin Baynes, Caleb Deboie and Nick Moncreif of Joseph, Briana Tanaka of Union and Karla Wilsey of Enterprise. - Submitted photo
Briana Tanaka of Union, Caleb Deboie of Joseph, Gavin Baynes of Joseph, Nick Moncreif of Joseph and Karla Wilsey of Enterprise attended the 2008 Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) July 15-23 in the nation’s capital.
The conference is an activity of the National FFA Organization in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education, Union School District, Union Baker ESD, Oregon State FFA, Oregon FFA Alumni Association and Pepsi-Cola of Eastern Oregon. The group was chaperoned by Dennis Clark, agriculture teacher from Union.
The week-long program helped FFA members build their leadership skills while preparing for roles in their chapters, communities and future careers. They attended workshop sessions on persuasive communication, character leadership and building relationships, and participated in discussions on citizenship.
The adviser’s program helps agriculture teachers and FFA advisers improve their leadership skills and gain new ideas for classroom instruction and FFA activities. The advisers get to preview and review current legislative issues affecting agriculture and education and explore innovative teaching resources.
“We live in an increasingly competitive world,” says Dr. Larry Case, national FFA adviser and coordinator, Agricultural and Rural Education with the U.S. Department of Education. “Tomorrow’s leaders must develop skills in these areas to effectively compete. Every student leaves WLC with an advantage, because it gives those young people cutting-edge leadership skills and valuable insight for productive citizenship.”
The National FFA Organization coordinates WLC, which attracts participants from across the country. This summer, more than 2,000 FFA members attended one of the conference’s seven week-long sessions.
Students also increased their understanding of the nation’s heritage with visits to Arlington National Cemetery, the Jefferson, Iwo Jima, Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln and Roosevelt memorials and other historic sights in Washington, D.C. They visited the Smithsonian Museums, Holocaust Museum, China Town, the Pentagon, Union Station and attended a play at the Kennedy Center.
They also spent a day in New York, Gettysburg, and Baltimore. In New York they visited Ground Zero, Times Square, Chinatown, Central Park, Trump Towers, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and downtown Manhattan. In Gettysburg they visited the visitor’s center and toured the battlefields. They also toured the Harley-Davidson factory in York, and got to go to Hershey Amusement Park. In Baltimore they toured the inner harbor and attended a baseball game at Camden Yards.
A highlight of the week was a visit to the office of Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon and a tour of the Capitol. The students also spent Saturday morning “gleaning” a corn field that had been previously harvested, to get food for needy families in the Washington, D.C., area.
They each received a free pair of Timberland Boots as a surprise gift for their efforts in community service.