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Local FFA works to build leadership skills

VIBORG, S.Dak. — The South Dakota FFA Association conducted its annual Leadership Retreat June 20 - 23, at Swan Lake Christian Camp in Viborg, SD. A total of 65 FFA members in grades 7 – 12 attended from across South Dakota with the theme of, “Into the Safari; Imagine, Explore, Discover.”

Callie Hammerstrom of the Lennox Sundstrom FFA Chapter attended.

The retreats centered on a theme of, “Into the Safari; Imagine, Explore, Discover,” focusing on teaching members how to invest in their chapters’ journey and adventure to instill the FFA Motto, “…premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.” FFA members developed and enhanced their leadership skills and self-confidence through interactive learning. The program featured workshops that helped members discover the value of service, integrity, communication, perseverance, teamwork, and having a growth mindset. They will use these new skills and ideas to benefit their local chapters and communities. Retreat attendees also participated in a service-learning project helping the City of Centerville work on beautification projects around town.

The retreats were directed by the 2023-2024 State FFA Officers: President, Alyssa Feather, Wilmot; Vice President, Dustin Kolb, Belle Fourche; Secretary, Raesa Zelinsky, Brookings; Treasurer, Gretta Larson, Lake Preston; Reporter, Gabrielle Rebelein, Sioux Valley; and Sentinel, Emily Robbins, Elkton. Retreat staff also included Tori Dvorak, Scotland; and Taylor Tennant, Gettysburg; SD FFA Ambassadors and National FFA Eastern Region Vice President Gracie Murphy.

While the members worked on developing premier leadership and personal growth through their time at the retreat, the advisor’s also had their own teacher academy learning about Plant Pollinators and Propagation, implementing Bees into their programs, and Livestock Artificial Insemination.

The retreat was sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America, Army ROTC, South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Twin City Region Northland Ford Dealers, CHS Foundation, and SD Corn Utilization Council.


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