FFA Retreats Develop Leadership Skills

July 17, 2015

Paulsen visited the South Dakota FFA leadership retreat at the Bob Marshall Camp in Custer State Park earlier this month.

The retreats focus on developing local FFA students’ leadership skills, including communication skills, conflict resolution, problem solving and team building. State FFA Advisor Michelle Nelson said that FFA has adapted to the needs of modern production agriculture and agribusiness.

“A lot of our programs have non-traditional aspects. We concentrate on biotechnology, different careers in food science and animal science. You name it; we cover it. We also work on developing speaking and communication skills. We constantly hear from employers that they love to hire FFA members because of their communication skills and their leadership skills.”

Sydnie Peters will be a senior at Winner High School. She’s been involved in FFA through high school and is the Winner FFA chapter president. She says FFA has helped her grow in confidence.

“It’s helped me with public speaking, getting in front of people and be a better leader. FFA can help anyone develop leadership skills and personal development.”

Shane Mueller is from Garretson. He’s a sophomore at South Dakota State University and serves as the Sentinel for the state FFA Association. He says the leadership camps bring FFA members together from across the state and helps them build their core leadership values.

“Those include personal growth, their worth inside of a team, effective communication and becoming better advocates for agriculture,” Shane says.

Along with leadership sessions, the FFAers also take part in games and outdoor activities, including kayaking and hiking. Advisers who attend the camps provide supervision and participate in some leadership activities, but also take part in their own education advancement and outreach sessions.

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