The Agriculture Program
Through agricultural education, students are provided opportunities for leadership development, personal growth, and career success. Agricultural education instruction is delivered through three major components:
1) Classroom/laboratory instruction (contextual learning)
2) Supervised Agricultural Experience programs (work-based learning)
3) Student leadership organizations (National FFA Organization, National Young Farmer Educational Association, and National Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization).
Agricultural education is a systematic program of instruction available to students desiring to learn about the science, business, technology of plant and animal production and/or about the environmental and natural resources systems. Agricultural education first became a part of the public education system in 1917 when the U.S. Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act. Today, over 800,000 students participate in formal agricultural education instructional programs offered in grades seven-adult throughout the 50 states and three U. S. territories. © National FFA Organization 2014
Below you will find more information about the FFA and SAE components of the Wasco FFA program. For more information about classroom instruction, please see the individual advisor's pages under the "The Advisors" page.
Leadership in the FFA
Wasco FFA offers a wide variety of leadership opportunities to its student throughout the year. These opportunities fall into two main categories: Career Development Events (CDEs) and Leadership Conferences/Experiences.
CDEs help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market.
There are 24 CDEs, covering job skills in everything from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others allow them to compete in teams. Wasco FFA participates primarily in competitive team and individual public speaking events. See below for a list of the events that Wasco FFA currently participates in. Most events can be clicked to link to the National FFA CDE events pages associated with each contest. Contests at the state level may vary slightly from the National FFA competitions as listed on the National FFA website. Other CDE opportunities are available based on student interest and involvement. For a complete list of all nationally recognized CDEs or more information about the CDEs listed below, check out the CDE Handbook or talk to your FFA advisor.
Other leadership opportunities are also available to Wasco FFA members. At the chapter level, students are able to run for chapter office, participate on committees and lead peers as a member of the Wasco FFA Leadership Team. Students also have the opportunity to apply to attend various leadership conferences organized by California FFA.
For freshmen, Greenhand Leadership Conference (GLC) helps orient them to the FFA program, provide them with an introduction to the agriculture industry, helps them become motivated and, to leave the conference with a personal set of goals for their future inside and outside of the FFA. In their sophomore year, students are encouraged to apply to attend the Made for Excellence Conference (MFE). This sophomore level conference allows students to explore the role of choices and responsibility in their lives, develop strategies for becoming a leader in their home and community, and investigate their own personal strengths and interests. As juniors, student shave the opportunity to attend Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA). ALA allows students to develop a better understanding of how the agriculture industry functions, learn more about the issues affecting agriculture, and gain more experience developing and presenting oral arguments on an identified issue.
For students who show a pronounced interest in leadership development, there are additional leadership development opportunities at the state and national level. Sacramento Leadership Experience (SLE) is California FFA's capstone leadership development conference for FFA members. Only 40 of the top students from across the state are selected to attend SLE. Students step into into the role of California's 40 Senators learning how a bill becomes a law, work in committees to develop Senate bills, debate Senate bills in the State Senate Chambers, and meet legislators. Student must go through an intensive application process to be accepted to SLE.
The final capstone leadership experience for FFA members is Washington Leadership Conference (WLC). The five-day conference takes place in Washington D.C. It brings together students from across the country. Attendees learn how to become effective leaders by teaching them to know their purpose, value people, take action, and serve others.