AMERY, Wisconsin (WXOW)- It's an organization founded in 1928. But in recent years, it's been revamped to appeal to a broader group of people.
In this segment of Wisconsin Dairy News, learn about the Wisconsin FFA Association.
Members of the Amery High School FFA Parliamentary Procedure team practice their skills.
That's because in recent years, Amery has seen a spike in participation in its FFA program and Ag education classes.
Derrick Meyer, an Ag Instructor at Amery High School says, "Right now I have 370 that signed up for my classes this year, and out of them, only 24% of them come from production agriculture."
More students are seeing the benefits and real world opportunities-such as jobs-- that Ag classes can lead to.
Jeff Hicken a State FFA Advisor says, "It's really encompassing a bigger picture of what agriculture is and what people think is just farming."
Ag education isn't simply making a comeback, it's making an impact. Employers across the state support these programs because they help students gain the skills companies seek.
Nate Overby, an FFA State Representative says, "Food and fiber production to natural resources, landscaping, you name it; it's all part of agriculture. So along with the growth and progression of agriculture, the FFA has grown right alongside."
Because of the changes and advancements in the dairy industry, more urban and minority students are seeing the perks of joining these programs to help jump start their path to a career.
Derrick: "I believe that bringing people into our program that don't come from that agriculture area can be very beneficial to our entire program."
Changing perceptions of what FFA is will help diversify the program and facilitate a better understanding of what students can get out of it.
Nate: "Premier leadership, personal growth and career success is what FFA is all about; developing those students for the future so they can be better leaders."
And that's Wisconsin Dairy News.
Amery's FFA chapter recently placed second in a career development event at the National Convention at Indianapolis, Indiana and earned the right to compete at the International Competition in Scotland next June.
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