FFA Inside the Emblem: Whitehall Chapter

62 members Whitehall, Wisconsin Trempealeau County


Tell us about your chapter. Our FFA chapter is a strong leadership organization based in agriculture for all students in grades 7-12. We pride ourselves in our community involvement and opportunities to improve student leadership, personal growth and career exploration so that they are better prepared to enter the workforce or further their education. 

How does your chapter volunteer in the community throughout the year? Our chapter is always busy planning and organizing events that benefit the community. Last year, we organized a basket raffle to honor a community member who was suffering from a debilitating disease and were able to donate $3,000 toward her medical expenses. We sponsor Adopt-A-Family each holiday season where we work with our school personnel to identify elementary-aged children and their families who are in need. Our chapter members purchase fleece and make tie blankets and pick out pajamas and a book for each member of the family. We usually give back around $500 to this program. Each spring, we conduct a day of service where all 60 members participate in activities that benefit the community or people living here. We do anything from cleaning up our adopted highway, pulling weeds in our Welcome to Whitehall sign, planting trees in the local parks and doing smaller jobs to help the elderly with their outside spring clean-up tasks. We host a haunted house each fall in partnership with the Whitehall-Pigeon Rod and Gun Club and will host Dairyland Donkeyball in November. Each year, we also thank local farmers who work to feed and clothe the world through an appreiaction activity. This year, members nominated a farmer to receive a handwritten note and apple pie during the harvest season. We hold activities in our small rural community that offer entertainment for the entire family and benefit others.

What fundraisers does your chapter do throughout the year? Our fruit, nut, meat and cheese sale yields funds for our members to attend leadership conferences, participate in contests, and travel to state and national FFA conventions. We also enjoy providing the community with milkshakes during our community celebration which brings in additional revenue for our scholarship funds for our senior members and those working to improve their Supervised Agriculture Experience projects through grants. Our fundraisers are successful because of the supportive community we live in.

What are the biggest events of the year? Our biggest event of the year is our family and member awards night held each April. We recognize our FFA members for their hard work and dedication through awards and scholarships. Every activity our members participate in throughout the year gains them points toward this night. Members walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride for our organization and excitement to continue to work hard. Our FFA members are successful at the state and national level for their SAE projects, speaking contests, and involvement in the state FFA band and choir, and we also enjoy attending the state FFA convention where our members are recognized.

What is unique about your chapter? Our chapter is located in a rural area, but very few of our FFA members are the traditional farm kids. Over 60% of our members are female who live in town. FFA is always growing and changing and working hard to give our members plenty of opportunities so that there is something for everyone.

When was your chapter founded and how has it evolved? Our chapter was chartered in 1930 and reorganized in 1996 with our current FFA advisor and agriculture instructor, Melinda Goplin. She was a student intern at the time and worked hard to build our agriculture program and FFA from the ground up. There was a huge push from members of the community to get a more active department, and that is exactly what they got. Mrs. Goplin has been here for 27 years and offered our members a lifetime of wonderful opportunities.  


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