Officials with the Monsanto Company say members of the Adair-Casey FFA Chapter based in Adair, have been awarded first-place in a pilot FFA Chapter Challenge program, sponsored by the seed company. The Adair-Casey Chapter of the FFA has a total of 65 members, both in- and-out of school. Their Advisor, Mike Cooley, says it’s the biggest school organization in their district. Cooley says while the organization is the “Future Farmers of America,” his students learn much more than becoming good stewards of the land. He says they promote leadership, which is accomplished in-part by participating in Career Development Events. The CDE helps prepare students in communication skills and honing their leadership abilities.
Since early March, FFA chapters in Iowa and six other states have reached out in their communities, to local farmers, in an effort to meet them, learn about their operations, and connect with those persons, by sharing what their local FFA chapter is doing in their community. Cooley says it’s important to note that the Adair-Casey FFA students didn’t do anything different to earn the honor, than what they’ve been doing all along.
He says the students are always active in the communities they serve, and strive to set good examples for others. Cooley says when the members put on their trademark blue corduroy FFA jacket, he stresses to them the importance of being a “first-class” organization, and he’s never had a problem with them upholding his expectations.
He says one of the main reasons they won the award, is because they have a good working relationship with the residents and business in the communities of Adair and Casey, who are truly supportive of the program. Farmers were asked to visit FFAChapterChallenge.com, and vote for their favorite FFA chapter.
More than 360 FFA chapters and a combined 22,000 FFA members, earned over 10,000 votes from farmers across the seven-state area. The Adair-Casey chapter won a cash award, for receiving the most votes out of more than 230 other FFA chapters in the state of Iowa. Cooley says they’ll receive a giant credit card for $1,500.
The award will be presented at around 8-p.m. Friday, during the half-time program at A-C’s season opener with East Union. Cooley says they will use part of the funds to send another student to a leadership camp in Washington, D.C., and the rest will go toward additional leadership events. He says they are grateful to the everyone who voted for the Adair-Casey chapter of the FFA.