Recently a FFA Adviser reached out to me for help on getting the FFA Chapter’s Reporter more involved in writing informational and appropriate articles for that chapter that could be shared with the media. I was absolutely thrilled to be able to offer some advice, but I don’t want to just offer some advice to the Reporter. So here are some ways to get your FFA/4-H Chapter more involved. Help out your community. It is vital to get your officer team out and about. Maybe you pick up trash on the side of the road one day, or maybe you help out at a local soup kitchen. To be a strong team, you must first work as a team. There is no better way to develop a strong team relationship than to volunteer as a team. The community will back up your FFA/4-H program if you show that you really do care about the well-being of your community.
Keep people on track. Sit down and establish a calendar for each and every month. Make sure that the reporter is taking pictures and writing articles about events happening in your chapter. Also, in my hometown the local newspaper loves for the Reporter to send in articles about what’s going on with the chapter. Reach out to your hometown newspaper and see if they wouldn’t mind having an article about National FFA Week, or what the 4-H is up to. Write about the cool things that your chapter is doing,
Social media is important. FFA or 4-H Chapters should have different forms of social media. People pay more attention to social media than they do a flyer on the wall. If an event is happening, let’s use a livestock show for example, be sure to post the time, date, and where it is happening. After the show be sure to tell your everyone to upload their pictures to your Facebook page. You will gain more followers doing so and have more involvement.
The officer team needs to be encouraging to others. There might just be 20 in your chapter or maybe 200 people in your chapter, either way you should do your best to sit down and talk to each member. For a team to be strong, they must all work together. For your membership to go up, you must branch out and talk to people you might not normally talk to.
When you are elected in these positions, you need to take pride in it. You were chosen because people believed in you. When you are an officer, you serve as a role model to your whole chapter. If you aren’t sitting a good example in your personal life, chances are the members aren’t going to respond to you in a positive way. No one is perfect, and mistakes will be made. The way you handle those mistakes will show your true character.
The officer team is the team that goes out to conferences and workshops. You all should always be thinking of new and exciting ways to get your members pumped up. Have a FFA/4H member of the month, give out cool prizes in drawings, have FFA/4H game day. National FFA Week comes around just once a year. That shouldn’t stop you from having fun and exciting days throughout the month though. Hold a petting zoo with the member’s animals, go talk to schools about FFA/4H, hold an Olympics, go on fields trips, work with other FFA/4H chapters around you, and make sure everyone in your chapter feels special.
Volunteer with younger kids. Nothing is stopping you from working with the younger 4H kids. These kids might one day be pursuing agriculture. It doesn’t take very long to go help with a 4H show, or maybe have your FFA Chapter hold a clinic for the aspiring judgers, livestock exhibitors, and rodeo kids. Not only will this be a learning experience for them, but it will be a learning experience for you as well.
Official dress isn't a joke. You should go over the guidelines of official dress with your officer team. If they are dressed and looking their best, more than likely the rest of the FFA/4-H members will do the same. There are guidelines for what can be worn to conventions and what should not be worn to conventions. A team that dresses the same will have a sense of unity.
As FFA/4-H Advisers you have a tough job, you are inspiring possibly the next greatest thing in the agriculture industry. You need to make your officer team as strong as they can be, and encourage your whole chapter to step up and be as involved as possible. Encourage the shy kid to do judging or show. Encourage the shy kids to run for an office. Tell the kids that they are important and to never be afraid to talk to you about any issues they may be facing.
Being an officer on any type of team is an amazing experience. The kids that are elected in the prestigious FFA/4-H organizations should take pride in doing so. You never know who you could inspire by just being a great leader.
Congratulations to the new officer teams for 2016-2017.
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