The Brownwood FFA is making strides into ensuring the prosperity of Brownwood High School students by integrating freshman into their organization.

To start off the 2018-’19 school year, the Brownwood FFA hosted a booth at the Brownwood High School Freshman Orientation on Aug. 16. There, the Brownwood FFA officers engaged the freshman one-on-one about joining the Brownwood FFA and attending Greenhand Camp, a FFA camp for freshman.

In addition, Freshman Orientation provided a brief and lively insight into the dynamic of the Brownwood FFA. The FFA officers dressed up as bunnies, cows, pigs and bulls to demonstrate the diversity of the Brownwood FFA and to encourage freshman to bring their own unique and special talents of into FFA. An outstanding number of freshman took a picture with the officers dressed as animals and had a blast doing poses with them.  

“The Freshman Orientation was a great outlet for a multitude of students to get their first introduction in the great organization of the Brownwood FFA. Many of the students and parents left the booth with a desire to take a part into our organization and attend Greenhand Camp. I believe there are going to be bright and exceptional kids joining our organization who have limitless potential,” said Cade Wilson, one of the Brownwood FFA Advisors.  

Thanks to the great success of Freshman Orientation, almost 50 percent of freshman joining agricultural education participated in Greenhand Camp.

The camp provided three workshops directed toward supervised agricultural experiences (showing livestock and science fairs), fall and spring competitions/leadership and scholarships.

Landry Walker, Dawson Evans, Shea Hughes and CarolAnn Hetzel led the supervised agricultural experience workshop. They introduced the freshman to show animals and guided them through tough team building exercises to symbolize the tough mentality in all aspects of a supervised agricultural experience.

Furthermore, Dawson Evans led a discussion on science fairs and gave an account his 2016-2017 science fair with Dalainy Garza, a former national science fair contestant.

Emily Chapa, Austin Haynes and Trinitee Skelton conducted the competition and leadership workshop.

The three officers had the students preform an activity that required them to communicate with a blindfolded individual about the whereabouts of a ball. This allowed Emily to talk about the necessity clear communication in team competitions. She then vividly described each of the competitions the FFA is offered. Trinitee and Austin wrapped up the workshop by recounting their steps as a district and area officer respectively.

Aubrey Kirk, Hunter Day and Darby Crysler had the opportunity to direct the scholarship workshop. Together they emphasized on great scholarship opportunities and the more than $2.5 million given to Texas FFA students annually.

They had former scholarship recipients describe their success in higher education due to the generous amount of money they were afforded. For instance, Tucker Roberts, a former Brownwood FFA member, was awarded $38,000 and is attending A&M University.

“The Greenhand camp was an absolute joy to host for the new faces of the Brownwood FFA. I could tell there are going to be a lot of kids ready to take a part into our organization! I can’t wait to see them exert a positive influence through the FFA and be successful in all they do,” said Shea Hughes, the Brownwood FFA Treasurer.

“Greenhand Camp is only the beginning of a journey each of these freshman will embark on. They have had only a small taste of the great milestones they will reach and the remarkable experiences they will have with not only competitions but with new friends,” said Hunter Day, the Brownwood FFA Reporter.

Currently, the Brownwood FFA is incorporating freshman into its competition teams. These competitions, also known as Leadership Development Events, are designed to help each student find an area they love and to pursue it with all their passion.

“I have never seen a group of students work as hard as the members of the 2081-2019 Brownwood FFA group. They study constantly and work at skills during each of their spare moments. I know that this year will be the year that we will have take home a banner in each of our competitions,” said Chelsea Wilson, one of the Brownwood FFA Advisors.

Besides competitions, the Brownwood FFA has lined up a number of events for the 2018-2019 school year that will have interactive service projects and spectacular meetings.

“We (the FFA officers) have developed events that will surely be fruitful to the community and to the success of each of the FFA members in the Brownwood chapter,”  said Landry Walker, the Brownwood FFA Sentinel.

The first meeting with all the FFA members will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10 at the Brownwood High School Agricultural Pavilion, with free food starting at 6 p.m. for members and their families.

There will be games and snow cones as well as a chance for parents to purchase state tags for show animals, pay for pen fees, sign up for junior FFA and order your new FFA hoodie and T-shirt.

It is an opportunity for freshman and upper-class-man parents to take proactive steps into helping their children in the FFA by learning of all the aspects of Brownwood FFA.

It is highly encouraged that all FFA members attend this meeting to be informed of the next steps of a marvelous organization.