Starting an FFA Chapter

A month before graduating from college I took on one of the biggest roles of my life, I just didn’t know it at the time. I traveled to Henryetta, Oklahoma to interview as an agricultural educator and to start the school’s first-ever agricultural education classes as well as starting an FFA Chapter. A week after the interview I received the awaited phone call, I got the job. My lifelong goal of becoming an agricultural educator was complete and it was time to start a new chapter in my life.

Now I won’t lie, being a new teacher is tough. Being a new teacher and starting a chapter from the ground up, is unimaginably tough. Starting a program with little funding is difficult. Each day is different and faces a new set of obstacles. No matter the obstacle, I can’t express how much I love my job. Especially whenever I watched my students faces light up the moment they put their FFA jackets on.

Being a new chapter, these kids have none or very little knowledge about what FFA or even an idea of what the ag industry is. Yet, they have been working hard and have competed in various competitions already. Every student entered a project in the Tulsa State Fair, and last week one student placed first out of 328 kids at a cattle grading competition. Their goal is to put the chapter on the map and learn as much as they can about agriculture and the rich tradition of FFA.

No matter how tough times get, these kids make it worth it. I hope that I can inspire and help these kids achieve their dreams and when they leave my classroom they leave knowing someone cares about them. These kids will leave my classroom with the tools needed to be successful in whatever career they choose.

 I cannot wait to see what this FFA Chapter achieves and what new accomplishments we make.  

-Cody Dawson, agricultural educator at Henryetta Public Schools.

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