Sierra Bakke and Gabby Goessl of the Owen-Withee FFA Chapter traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to evaluate their personal skills and interests, develop leadership talent and create service plans that will make a difference in the community. Over 300 students attended the first week of the Washington Leadership Conference, the second-largest student experience that the National FFA Organization hosts each year. Created in 1969 and held annually, the conference is held at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel.
Along with O-W FFA leader Mr. Engel, the FFA members 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 chapter.
The capstone of the event was a civic engagement activity where participants packaged over 60,000 meals for food pantries in the D.C., Virginia and Maryland areas. Members also analyzed the needs of their communities and began developing community service initiatives to implement with the help of their FFA chapters upon returning home.
Owen-Withee FFA members in recent years have promoted agricultural literacy, collected and distributed clothing, presented hunger awareness, conducted food drives, and more as a result of attending the WLC Conference.
FFA members experienced the history of the nation’s capital and toured landmarks including the Washington Monument, the War Memorials, National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol, among many others. The 2022 Washington Leadership Conference was sponsored by Farm Credit, Merck Animal Health and Syngenta.
Funds generated through the 2021 Withee Days Pancake Feed, 2022 Alumni Basketball Tournament concessions and 2022 spring sports concessions are earmarked to attend WLC. Both participants also received scholarships through the Wisconsin FFA Alumni. Gabby and Sierra thank all who supported them to attend Washington Leadership Conference.
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.