Students travel to D.C. for leadership conference

Students travel to D.C. for leadership conference

Thousands of FFA members from throughout the country are converging on Washington, D.C., this summer to evaluate their personal skills and interests, develop leadership talent and create service plans that will make a difference in their communities.

Six Aurora FFA Chapter members attended the conference week seven, July 24 – 28 — Kensie Darst, Jacob Johnson, Olivia Parker, Jacklyn Merritt, Caitlyn Kaye and Dalton Hess.

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More than 2,300 students attended the 2018 Washington Leadership Conference, the second-largest student experience that the National FFA Organization hosts each year. Created in 1969 and held annually, the conference began June 5 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

FFA members attended the conference during one of seven weeks through July 28. They spent the week under the guidance of professionals, counselors and FFA staff. In workshops, seminars and small groups, members focused on identifying and developing their personal strengths and goals while undergoing comprehensive leadership training that will help them guide their local FFA chapters. The capstone of the event was a civic engagement activity where participants applied what they learned to a hands-on activity.

Members also analyzed the needs of their communities, developed wide-ranging and high-impact community service initiatives and implemented their plans with the help of their FFA chapters upon return home. Students in recent years have promoted agricultural literacy; brought attention to abuse; collected and distributed shoes to individuals in Haiti; created a hunger awareness plan and more.

During their time in D.C., FFA members also experienced the history of the nation’s capital and toured landmarks including the Washington Monument, the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian’s, among others. Aurora FFA members also visited with Congressman Billy Long. The congressman shared with the members the passion that has pushed him to where he is today and the importance of representing the citizens.

The 2018 Washington Leadership Conference is sponsored by title sponsors CSX, Monsanto, Farm Credit and weekly sponsor Valent. For more information, visit

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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