FFA welcomes newest members at Greenhand Night

To some individuals they are freshman, to some they are rookies, to others they are simply new members, but to the FFA, they are Greenhands! Greenhand members of FFA chapters are active, first year members.

These students are working to obtain their first degree in the FFA, the Greenhand Degree. The Greenhand Degree is the first step on a ladder of degrees that any FFA member can recieve. Our Garden Spot FFA Officer Team and the Lancaster County Officer Team organize special evenings to welcome Greenhands and help them get involved.

On October 29, every Greenhand in the Garden Spot FFA Chapter was invited to “hit the bullseye with their Greenhand Degrees”. The Garden Spot FFA Officer Team created stations and games to help our Greenhands learn about FFA official dress, the FFA motto, the degree ladder, Career Development Events, the FFA motto, and what they can do to succeed as an FFA member. 

Members were welcomed with a meal and introduced to each officer, then split into groups and sent to stations. At the first station, Leah Welk (president) and Bryce Johnson (treasurer) taught the meaning of each part of the FFA emblem and FFA official dress. They highlighted how the importance of the emblem and official dress, and what each symbolizes for the organization. At station two, Jess Herr (vice president) and Jared Risser (sentinel) encouraged each member to find their purpose and passion. 

They also discussed the FFA creed and motto and how they impact FFA. The third station was led by Carter Meck (chaplain) and Danae Ranck (reporter). They explained the purpose of Career Development Events and how the new members can get involved and compete in events that explore career opportunities in the agriculture industry. Gracie Hess (secretary) and Brayden Emmerling (assistant reporter) led the fourth station and shared how members can receive their Greenhand Degree and the degrees after it.

Throughout the evening members participated in various games and activities, before closing the evening with final reflections. Each member was asked to write how they are going to hit the bullseye in FFA with their Greenhand Degree. One member wrote “Now that I have my Greenhand Degree I can hit the bullseye within the FFA by becoming more involved in activities that the FFA does”. 

Another member shared “I will hit the bullseye by stepping out of my comfort zone and making new friends and doing new experiences. I will try to take a leadership role and will strive to do my best in representing the Garden Spot FFA Chapter”.

On November 1, the Lancaster County FFA Officer Team created a similar event for all new members in the county. This event gave Greenhands an opportunity to learn about FFA and meet other members from other chapters. The officers created stations that highlighted the three circle motel in FFA. New members learned about FFA, Supervised Agricultural Experiences, and Agriculture Classes. The Greenhands were taught that FFA is not simply another club in their school. It is an intracurricular program that provides students with the opportunity to use the ideas they learn in class, outside of the classroom in their jobs, relationships, and future careers.

Our chapter strives to make Greenhands feel welcome and accepted. We desire for each member to learn and find their passions in FFA.

--By Danae Ranck, FFA reporter

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