Garden Spot FFA attends annual State Legislative Leadership Conference

The Pennsylvania FFA Association hosts the State Legislative Leadership Conference every year to teach FFA members more about the legislative process and our government. On March 19-20, Leah Welk, Jess Herr, Bella Eckert, Jared Risser, Danae Ranck, and Mrs. McMichael joined over 400 other members and advisors from all over the state for this conference in Harrisburg. The three day conference provided opportunities for members in earn first-hand experience in the legislative process, serve the community, make new friends, and more.

On the first day of SLLC, we attended workshops where we learned about sharing our voices, proper etiquette, Parliamentary Procedure, how a bill becomes a law, and much more. Our new knowledge helped to prepare us for our next task, passing bills in the House of Representatives or the Senate. We were divided into groups to debate different bills in the House or Senate minority or majority. Our job was to use of Parliamentary Procedure skills to amend and pass a bill dealing with an agriculture issue.

On the second day of SLLC, we attend caucus meeting to discuss the changes we made to our bill the day before. We also attended the General Assembly of the House of Representatives or Senate to pass the bills we amended and discussed. Through the process, we learned about our government and the importance of sharing our voices and opinions.

We spent the rest of our afternoon participating the State Day of Service. All together, everyone at SLLC completed over 1,500 hours of community service at more than 12 locations. Our chapter went to New Kingstown Fire Company to help clean their fire hall. Our main tasks were washing windows and floors. After our long afternoon of hard work, we met up with other chapters at a local Hoss’s for supper. We finished our eventful day with a dance full of new friends and memories.

On the final day of SLLC, we attended a breakfast with our state representatives. Over 515 members and guests attended the breakfast the highlighted several different keynote speakers. Gary Heckman, from Ag America Farm Credit, spoke about opportunities to be influenced. He challenged everyone to open ourselves up to being influenced so we can influence others. PA Farm Bureau President, Rick Everett also spoke about how FFA has impacted his life. Former Secretary of Agriculture, Sam Hayes Jr. spoke.

He founded SLLC 31 years ago. He wanted something that taught FFA members about our government system and the importance of sharing our voices. He challenged us to have big goals, not small goals. He also presented the first Founders Award to two selected FFA member who showed outstanding skills in the House of Representatives or Senate.

This weekend showed how important one little voice can be, and how much it can change. It also reminded us of the importance of serving and caring for those in our community. SLLC provided chances to gain knowledge about our government that we did not have before.

--By Danae Ranck, FFA reporter

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