Pictured left to right:
Marcie Mack, State Director of Career Tech, Carolyn Piguet, Vinita FFA Advisor, Calvin Johnson, Vinita FFA President, Faith Swart, Vinita FFA Officer, Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chairperson of the Career Tech State Board.
Vinita FFA was a guest presentation at the recent State Career Tech Board meeting held on Thursday, Jan. 18th at the State Department of Education located at the state capital. The Vinita FFA catering team members prepared a brunch for the board and committee members resembling the street tacos that they sell on their chapter food truck. The meal was centered around “Farm to Fork” ideals with over 90% of the meal components being chapter grown or locally sourced. “This was a great opportunity to highlight our garden produce that we had tucked away in the freezer and canned,” stated Carolyn Piguet, chapter advisor. The meal was well received.
Mrs. Piguet, Calvin Johnson, and Faith Swart then presented an overview of the Vinita FFA program to the state board. Those in attendance include Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of schools and various other state education board officials. Jack Stats, state FFA advisor was also lead in to the presentation. Mrs. Piguet discussed the changes in agriculture of the past to what agriculture is now and will be in the future. Demographics of chapter members was explained that showed only 23% of the Vinita FFA chapter has farming background while 72% are non-traditional agriculture students with no previous background. Piguet explained, “this is why it is so important to find a niche for all students of the Vinita FFA and help promote them to become lifelong agricultural contributors.” The chapter garden, Farmers Market, catering team and food truck components were explained and discussed on how it increases more hands-on opportunities as well as more student involvement. The newly launched websites and e-commerce components were highlighted as a use of technology for marketing and what an impact social media has on agricultural marketing.
The presentation was completed by Calvin Johnson, chapter President and Faith Swart, chapter officer discussing their own personal experiences with each one of the chapter activities and how it has enhanced their leadership abilities that they will utilize in all walks of life. Faith Swart summed up the presentation perfectly by stating, “The garden is a lot like each of the chapter members. We are like seeds that grow into our full potential and learn how to use our abilities to be successful.”