FFA: Inside the Emblem Campbellsport

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111 members
Campbellsport, Wisconsin
Fond du Lac County

Tell us about your chapter. The Campbellsport FFA Chapter was established in 1940 and has many long-standing traditions. The chapter is composed of 111 members from sixth through 12th grade. Not all of our members come from a farm or other agriculture background, but they are all connected through their passion for agriculture. Our chapter focuses on premier leadership, personal growth and career success. Through this focus, our members attend leadership conferences, compete in competitions, fill out awards, earn degrees, host agricultural education events, fundraise and develop a career plan. Each member’s involvement in the chapter varies. No matter how involved they are in activities, each member makes an impact on our chapter and the agriculture industry. We are also fortunate to have an extremely supportive FFA Alumni and Supporters chapter that has been around for the last 30 years. The alumni chapter does everything in their power to support each member through fundraising, assisting with award applications, practicing with teams and so much more.

How does your chapter volunteer in the community throughout the year? Our chapter participates in many activities to volunteer and help our community. One year-round activity we host is our aluminum can collection, which encourages community members to drop off their used aluminum cans and recycle them. Our remaining community volunteer projects include our roadside cleanup, where our members clean a 3-mile stretch of Highway 67; our clothing drive, where members of the community bring in new or gently used clothing items to donate to our high school clothing closet; and the Operation Christmas Child boxes, where we partner with a local church to provide necessities to children internationally. We also provide a fruit donation to our counseling department through our extra fruit sale purchases, which is given to families in our school district who may not have access to funds to purchase fresh fruit.

What fundraisers does your chapter do throughout the year? In order to have a successful chapter, we do a good amount of fundraising. Each year, we sell fruit, strawberries, milk from our milk vending machine and plants grown by the plant science classes. We hold an auction during our annual pork chop dinner. This event is a long-standing tradition for our chapter. We sell over 240 pork chop dinner meals to our community and supporters each year. Following the meal, we have an auction where we auction off 30 to 40 donated items. Our community, supporters and alumni come together to support our chapter at this auction.

What are the biggest events of the year? One of our biggest events is our Food for America program that we put on at the beginning of the school year. Our members prepare around eight stations of activities in the pathways of agriculture. Through the experience, we bring Campbellsport and Eden elementary second graders, third graders and fifth graders to the high school to participate in the stations. This event requires planning, preparation and, most importantly, support from local businesses and community members to help it run smoothly and get the best experience possible for not only the students but our members as well.

What is unique about your chapter? We make it a priority to reach all students in the Campbellsport School District with the world of agriculture. From kindergarten to 12th grade, all students have the opportunity to be involved in an agriculture activity. In kindergarten, students are invited to the greenhouse in the spring to plant flowers that will be grown by our high school students, and then the kindergarteners come over before Mother’s Day to create a gift using the plants grown. In first grade, students are introduced to agriculture through Ag in the Classroom, where our members teach about topics of agriculture. The second, third and fifth grade students are invited to our Food for America event. Our fourth graders are invited to our annual Day on the Farm in the spring, where they are introduced to the world of production agriculture. Finally, we offer agriculture courses for our sixth to 12th grade students, with a variety of course work and activities that involve students of all levels.

When was your chapter founded and how has it evolved? The chapter has evolved greatly over the last 83 years. Originally, the chapter was made up of members who all came from farms. However, as the agriculture world changes, so does our chapter. Over half of our members do not come from a farming background and find their place in agriculture through FFA. We host many events throughout the year that highlight premier leadership, personal growth and career success. Our members attend leadership conferences, host events to educate people about the importance of agriculture, compete in speaking contests and judging contests, and advocate for agriculture whenever possible. 

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