Posted at: 11/13/2013 5:51 PM
Updated at: 11/13/2013 6:36 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Local Student Works to Secure FFA Future at School
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's an organization that has undergone a lot of changes since 1928.
Now, a local teenager has launched a one-person campaign to save a program that expanded beyond its original mission.
"I'm just trying to show the community that there's somebody passionate enough to keep it going," Chelsey Morgan told us. At the age of 15, she has found a cause: "I guess my ultimate goal is to maybe get our own permanent advisor and teacher."
When the last FFA advisor for the Lyle school district left that position, it raised questions about the group's future.
"We have an ag program, but it's ITV through Glenville," sophomore Chelsey Morgan told us.
“But because of restraints in her schedule she no longer could do the FFA portion of it, just the classroom teaching on line," said Southland schools FFA advisor Kevin Brown.
But Chelsey Morgan saw the value in the program that ... until 1988 ... was known as the Future Farmers of America.
"You learn a lot more than just how to judge corn and which tractor is better."
“We've also added a lot more leadership contests, a lot more job interview and parliamentary procedure type contests," said FFA advisor Kevin Brown.
“It develops leadership among individuals and gets people involved in more different groups and contests, and helps you develop qualities that help you succeed in life," added Southland FFA chapter vice-president Christopher Quale.
So Chelsey Morgan began lobbying the school district for a new advisor.
"Lyle has an advisor now, but it's just temporary for this year."
That advisor is Kevin Brown ... who is also the Southland FFA advisor
“From the students I visited with they really wanted that FFA portion beyond the classroom, which kind of enhances what happens in class."
“It builds your character and helps you get out of your comfort zone and experience new things," said FFA member Christopher Quale.
The Lyle FFA chapter now has four members, and Chelsey Morgan's goal ... beyond getting a permanent advisor ... is to get her classmates enthused.
"I think if people thought of FFA as more than just a farm-type of thing, maybe they'd be more interested," Morgan told us.
The FFA has about 580,000 members in 7,500 chapters nationwide