The Milford Central Academy Future Farmers of America (MCA FFA) is very similar to the High School FFA chapter. It is a student organization that focuses on three aspects: Premier Leadership, Personal Growth and Career Success all through the lens of agricultural education. This summer, MCA FFA members decided to plant a community garden and have all the proceeds go to the Food Bank of Delaware. By the end of August, MCA FFA donated 138 pounds of fresh vegetables to the local food bank.
What makes the FFA unique in the school setting is that the adult ‘in charge’ is the advisor. The FFA members, led by a student officer team, make the decisions about how a chapter focuses on the three key aspects. This year’s advisor Judith Bruns is impressed by the motivation and dedication of these young students.
“As their advisor, I cannot be more proud of our Central Academy FFA members and ag students for stepping up and demonstrating Premier Leadership and Personal Growth,” said Bruns. “Students in grade 6 and older are starting to spread their wings and really explore how they can take some control in their life, and being a leader is one way to do this.”
Bruns states that the student leadership is important, especially at this young age, because students should begin to understand that being a leader is not about “what you can do to make your life better, but what can you do to help others.” At this level, Bruns is attempting to expose students to how they can participate and what they can accomplish.
“In class we really focus on what is agriculture and Agriscience and how they are so much more than farming. We really emphasize that agriculture is the largest industry in our country, employing more than 20 million people,” said Bruns. “We want students to know that agriculture includes diverse fields such as genetics, landscaping, environmental conservation, food science, mechanics, veterinary science and so much more.”
Encouraging MCA members to stay in the Milford School District for their high school years, Agriscience teachers at the high school set up a day for eighth grade students to visit MHS and experience what pathway opportunities await them. “I really hope that by having a strong FFA chapter in the Academy, that when students move on to high school, they don’t waste those first few years trying to decide if they should become active FFA members,” said Bruns. “I can’t tell you how many times over my 18 years at the high school level, I would have a junior or senior tell me how much they wished they had gotten involved earlier because they feel as though their time was cut short and they weren’t able to do all that they wanted to within the FFA.”
Bruns has seen that the principals and foundations built through FFA help students after high school, into their adult lives. It is that help that she hopes will give past students a reason to help the next generation in FFA. “As adults, I hope they come back to support the programs, both Academy and High School, that gave them some amazing experiences,” said Bruns. “That support can be encouraging their children to become members, or working closely with our Milford FFA Alumni chapter that supports both Milford FFA Chapters in achieving our goals.”
MCA FFA members will have a float in the Milford Community Parade set for Wednesday, October 19. They will host several fundraising activities throughout the year. Their next fundraiser, MCA FFA will be selling Krispy Kreme donuts by the dozen from October 28 through November 8. Donuts can be order though Judith Bruns at JBruns@msd.k12.de.us or phone at 430-7900 ext 1846 or through any FFA member.
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