Rapid City, SD — December 3-4 the Belle Fourche FFA attended the South Dakota State Leadership Development Events in Rapid City. For two days the FFA members work hard in competing in Agriculture Communications, Agricultural Sales, Conduct of Chapter Meetings, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Parliamentary Procedure. The overall goal of these events is to allow members to develop quality leadership skills that they can use in future careers while each event has its own additional goal.
In Agriculture Communications members must work as a team of communication consultants to develop a written media plan, present the plan to a panel of judges, and, as individuals, apply what they have learned during practicums, which are a quiz and editing exercise.
The purpose of this event is to excite and inspire students to develop basic skills relevant to the agricultural communications industry. The event equips members with strong communication skills and ability to work collaboratively to effectively communicate.
Team members Alexis Anderson, Alexis Hogan, Kora Knapp, and Atlee Olson placed 4th in the state and earned a bronze pin.
Reflecting on the event Olson said, “This event taught me how to communicate ideas and build stronger public relations. I now know how to build a strong advocacy plan which I can use to help me in my entrepreneurial journey. I want to be able to connect with people and I have learned many skills that will help me do that. An example would be having the ability to connect with my audience members which will allow me the ability to advocate for my mission.”
Members competing in Agricultural Sales Teams are provided an example product, product information and customer profiles at the start of the event from which they collaboratively develop a sales plan. Judges then evaluate the collaboration process and the team’s final sales plan. Individuals also complete a written exam that tests sales concept knowledge. The purpose of this event is to evaluate skills that are essential for an individual to be successful in the agricultural sales field. The process of selling agricultural products is essential for production and marketing of agricultural products. Team members Nathan Bowers, Cody Foos, Soren Kopp and Carter McKenna placed 10th in the state.
Reflecting on the event Bowers said, “Ag Sales was fun and I will be doing it again next year for sure! I did well for my first year and am pretty happy with how things turned out.”
In Conduct of Chapter Meetings (CCM) members are introduced to parliamentary procedure as they learn how to conduct efficient meetings and build their communication skills. In this event members must present their knowledge of parliamentary procedure as well as the FFA’s official opening and closing ceremonies, then also answer oral questions and written questions about officer duties, meeting room preparation, parliamentary procedure permissible motions and the order of business. Members assume various officer positions and duties (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter, sentinel and advisor) during the event presentation.
Team members Koby Bowden, Mya Bush, Brooke Garman, Alexis Jewett, Preston Lake, Jobie Manke, Casen Schmidt, and Olivia Sutter placed 5th in the state and earned a bronze pin.
Reflecting on the event Manke said, “Competing in CCM was very fun. I loved working with my team and getting to laugh and have fun with them. I think I will use the experience I gained being the president to help me be a better leader which I will be able to use for the rest of my life.”
In Extemporaneous Speaking members draw from 18 agricultural topics then select three of interest. From those three, a student selects the topic of their speech and has 30 minutes to pre- pare. Participants then present a four to six-minute speech on their topic to a panel of judges. After their speech, students answer five minutes worth of questions on the topic they just presented. The purpose of this event is to develop the ability of all FFA members to express themselves on a given subject without having prepared or rehearsed its content in advance. This gives FFA members an opportunity to formulate their remarks for presentation in a very limited amount of time.
Participant Lexi Pickett placed 23rd in the state.
Reflecting on the event Pickett said, “Competing in extemporaneous speaking is very challenging and exciting because it’s something new each time. I learned how to speak effective- ly in public, write speeches in a timely manner and apply my knowledge of agriculture to my life. I plan to use my speaking skills I’ve gained throughout high school and in future jobs.” Finally, in Parliamentary Pro- cedure members must conduct an orderly and efficient meeting using parliamentary procedure. Members are judged on their knowledge of parliamentary law and their ability to present logi- cal, and realistic and convincing debate and motions. The purpose of this event is to present members with an opportunity to learn how to effectively participate in a business meeting and to assist in the development of leadership, research, and problem solving skills.
Team members Taya Kirstine, Wyatt Lesmeister, Justus Marshall, Jazlyn Olson, Raif Parmeter, and Kate Willimson placed 2nd in the state with Lesmeister, Parmeter, and Olson earning the titles of South Dakota All State Parliamentary Procedure Team Members 1, 3, and 5 respectively.
Reflecting on the event Olson said, “Competing in Parliamentary Procedure was really a team effort. Unlike a sports team, our team are all very different people with different backgrounds and it truly was a learning experience when it came to working together. I’ve learned that when it comes to something like “parli” you really get out of it as much as you put into it.”
Thank you to everyone who supported our members as they competed this season by either judging at events, sponsoring chapter activities, and providing additional guidance outside the classroom. Your support allows us to continue to compete in these events and gain the skills from them.