Sleepy Eye FFA members attend conference at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve.

Nearly 200 Minnesota FFA members gathered for two sessions of the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders (SLCCL) at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve near Hackensack, June 24 to 26 or June 27 or 29, to develop leadership skills for their communities and home chapters. Members from the Sleepy Eye FFA chapter who attended were Abby Hoffmann, Cali Rossbach, Juan Cortez, Kalli Christensen, Kathryn Schroepfer and Maranda Braulick. Donavan Phoenix, Sleepy Eye Ag Program Summer Intern, helped to chaperone the camp.

This elite leadership conference is targeted at FFA members who have gone above and beyond in their local chapters. These FFA members come from all corners of the state, represent unique sectors of agriculture and have been recognized as top leaders in their schools.

The conference is modeled after the FFA’s Program of Activities which gives an example of activity areas the ideal FFA chapter should participate in. While at this conference, members are able to network with other students and share some of these activity ideas from their own FFA chapters.

A chapter’s Program of Activities focuses on growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. During sessions under each of these three areas, members were able to discover more about the role of healthy lifestyles, recruitment, agriculture literacy, fundraising and community service in their FFA chapters.

“State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders is an incredibly unique experience for Minnesota FFA's members where we are able to focus on how we can positively influence our chapters and our communities,” said Minnesota FFA Secretary Laura Church. “This year's theme was ‘Bringing Home the Gold.’ Together, chapter leaders from across the state were able to build their leadership dynamic by learning more about service, sharing ideas, and creating events to take back and implement in their home chapters and communities.”

FFA members had the opportunity to connect with different individuals outside of sessions during fun activities such as volleyball, canoeing and hiking. Each night, the state officers shared reflections with the campers, and the final day wrapped up with chapters sharing ideas to incorporate in their home chapters.

The State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders serves the Minnesota FFA Association by building talented and young individuals. These members often end up as leaders in multiple organizations and receive high academic marks during their postsecondary education before beginning very successful careers.

“At the state leadership conference for chapter leaders, I experienced an amazing amount of leadership skills to take back to my officer team, and chapter,” said Maranda Braulick, Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter Vice President. “My peers and I learned about the different paths we can take after high school, how to recruit new members, and how to honor our home country. With all we learned we all are bringing home the gold!”

This leadership conference was made possible with financial contributions from the CHS Foundation and Northland Ford Dealers as a special project of the Minnesota FFA Foundation.