Learning to Do
Deep, in the heart of Multnomah County, students gather from around the state for the annual North West Ag Show at the Portland Expo Center. In attendance were 46 agriculture education students from Cascade High School in Turner, Oregon. Amongst the group was Cascade FFA Chapter Sentinel, Caleb LaChapelle. "We spent a lot of time at the Willamina Meats booth... Mike is a great guy and we bring our market hogs to him every year. The samples were also fantastic" said Caleb about the booth he enjoyed most. Students had a wide range of agriculture industry booths to chose to visit and mingle with and are taking the opportunity to learn about the agricultural opportunities that the North West Ag Show had to offer.
Not only has the North West Ag Show had an impact on people's views of agriculture, but even outside of the State of Oregon, strides are being made. Erin of the Idaho FFA Association has always been a girl determined to make change. Whether it be improving her own life by striving everyday for that perfect grade point average, or leaving an impact on someone else’s life by dealing just one genuine compliment to someone new everyday. But when she learned to weld, she changed the assumed social norm of the welding competition. Erin became the first place champion in the FFA state welding competition two years in a row, and it was done by LEARNING to DO something that has changed Idaho’s view of women in the industry. Erin's courage to tackle challenges and be the best that she can should spark an inspiration in everyone.
Inspiriation can take place anywhere, from a soothing melody or even standing up for your beliefs. There was a student in one of the classrooms who was on an IEP (independent learning program) and every other student seemed to find joy in tearing him down and making his disabilities apparent to everyone else. Without a word from an adult a freshman boy rose up, displaying inspiring character, and halted the insults completely with a few short words. All it took was a second of courage and the simple statement of, "He is my friend, and pointing out his flaws don't make yours any less obvious."
All around the State, even neighboring States, FFA members are learning the values that FFA teaches its members.