WEST LIBERTY, Iowa– In a year that demanded much change and adaptation for FFA chapters across the state, West Liberty FFA rose to the challenge and found ways to stay active and serve their community despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their efforts did not go unnoticed, and they received the 2021 Supreme National Chapter Award.
Annually, state FFA leadership considers chapters for the Supreme National Chapter Award based on several criteria. West Liberty FFA Director Zach Morris elaborated, “each year, through this award, the state FFA ranks chapter participation and student performance at contests.” Supreme National Chapter winners will then submit their applications to the national level, where the top 25 applicants will receive an opportunity to compete against each other.
As part of the consideration process, chapters submit a program of activities highlighting their involvement in different events that promote agriculture, encourage community involvement, and foster student leadership. Along with receiving the Supreme National Chapter Award, West Liberty FFA also placed first in the state for their promotion of agriculture activates.
Looking back over the past year, Morris felt quite proud of the accomplishments of West Liberty FFA’s 90 members: “We’re excited because this year was really different with the pandemic. A lot of schools were limited in what they could do, be we have a supportive administration and we did as much as we could safely.”
As West Liberty FFA celebrates their Supreme National Chapter Award, they also look forward to continued success at the state convention. West Liberty FFA members earned district championships in seven areas, including ag issues and perceptions, conduct of meetings, chapter website, parliamentary procedure, ag career science investigation, program of activities, and ag impact, guaranteeing them the opportunity to compete at state April 18 through 20.
Along with the group’s accomplishments, West Liberty FFA senior Lindsey Laughlin has enjoyed some success of her own and will advance to the national nursery operations proficiency contest after earning the state championship Feb. 27. In eighth grade, Lindsey started working in the West Liberty FFA greenhouse and has overseen several renovations over the past five years, including expanding it with additional panels and installing an organization system to allow for the growth and storage of hanging plants. Lindsey also helped start and run West Liberty FFA’s first ever online plant sale in spring of 2020, allowing it to continue in spite of the pandemic. “I feel really good about my achievements,” Lindsey shared. “They have helped me in the long run and I can’t wait to see how they can help me in the future.”