By Terry Rogers
Two Milford High School students travelled to the National FFA Leadership Conference in Washington July 11 through July 16. Victoria Donovan and Curtis Sharp say that the conference was an eye opener for them.
“One of my roommates was from California,” Victoria Donovan said. “It was interesting to hear the issues they face in such a large state since we come from such a small state. I learned that each state has agricultural issues that are so different. They have a lot more problems in California than we have here and, before the conference, I had no idea how different they were.”
Ms. Donovan and Mr. Sharp were the only representatives sent to the conference from Delaware and the Milford FFA Alumni Association paid the $1,000 for them to attend. Both students had to submit an application and were selected for the convention. While in Washington DC, they toured the city, visiting monuments and historical locations.
“My daughter found a passion on finding out ways to help those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Karen Donovan said. “I also know that FFA is a commonly misunderstood organization that most people think is about showing goats and pigs at the fair and working on a farm only, but there is so much more to it. This group teaches leadership and being an active part of your community while highlighting the agri-science fields.”
Chris Stahl, an FFA advisor for Milford High School, said that the program is a summer-long program hosted by the National FFA in which students from all over the country attend for a week long session. During the particular week they were there, the Milford students were the only ones attending from Delaware. Students attend leadership workshops, socialize and learn from other students across the country.
“Mr. Sharp and Ms. Donovan will bring back an enthusiasm that is contagious among kids,” Mr. Stahl said. “They are able to apply the leadership activities to a wider range of students in their home chapters, like ours here at Milford Senior High School.”
Mr. Sharp, who plans to attend Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania, is entering his junior year in high school. Ms. Donovan is entering her junior year as well and plans to attend either Norh Carolina State, Cornell or New York University. Mr. Sharp hopes to become a seed salesman while Ms. Donovan wants to become a veterinarian.
“It was an eye opener to see the diversity of the people at the convention,” Mr. Sharp said. “I learned how important it was to advocate for the ag industry and it was so cool too meet people from different areas. I learned that the issues we face here in Delaware are much different than what they face in other states.”
Ms. Donovan said that there was nothing she would change about her trip to DC or the convention. “There are no words to describe the week,” Ms. Donovan said. “I met so many people. I learned about poverty and about things going on in our town and across the country. It changed the way I look at things.”
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.