Rocky Mountain FFA joins with Burlington for chapter

Joey Chatwin Chapter Reporter and Christin Shorma Chapter Advisor

This year the Rocky Mountain FFA has had the exciting opportunity to add Burlington students to our roster. We installed officers in October: Lillian Mader - President (RMHS), Joey Chatwin - Vice President/Reporter (BHS), Brenner Moore - Secretary (RMHS), Brandon Abraham - Treasurer (RMHS) and Will Parsley - Sentinel (BHS).

In October, we had three teams compete at the NILE in Billings. Dalan Wambeke placed fifth in Meats, and Ella Pierce placed sixth in Horse Judging. It was a great learning experience to start the year.

In October, Members of RMHS and BHS agriculture classes had the opportunity to join Northwest College agroecology classes on a field trip around the Big Horn Basin. We learned about different ecosystems, plants and formations.

In November, members went to Casper to participate in FFA Fall Leadership Conference. The keynote address speaker was Nick “Sunshine” from The Deadliest Catch, teaching us how important it is to do what we love and never give up.

On the way to Leadership Conference, the FFA toured Admiral Beverages in Worland. We learned that they produce cans, bottles and soda bags for many different areas. Their farthest consumer is in Alaska. In order to produce the best product, they check the water every hour and the soda every 15 minutes. They also don’t allow the use of dented cans, for this can cause a loss in product. New technology allows them to fill 1,200 cans and 500 bottles per minute.

At the end of November, two of the Wyoming State FFA officers visited our chapter. They did workshops in each of Mrs. Shorma’s classes and taught students about commodity trading. 

The officers did a retreat in January, starting off with official business and planning for our spring activities. After that they went to Billings. They had lunch and did an escape room for a team-building activity.

At the end of January, two of our teams competed in an online Wisconsin competition. Our ag mechanics team won the contest, with Colten Bitton placing second, Brandon Abraham and Clayton Thompson placing third and Triffen Jolley placing seventh. The other teams we have this year are Horse Judging, Livestock Judging, Meats Judging and Public Speaking. In March and April, we will travel to competitions in Sheridan, Powell, Casper, Riverton, Thermopolis, Laramie and Cheyenne.  

For FFA Week, we’re gearing up to provide a staff appreciation breakfast, an ice cream social, an elementary visit, dress-up days, a can drive to support the food pantry and an FFA Olympics competition.

Our annual Steak Dinner & Auction is scheduled for April 26 at RMHS. We will have lots of student-made projects and Bob Acton’s/Hawg Heaven’s famous ribeye steaks and country style pork ribs. We hope to see you there.

What is FFA?

FFA is the largest student-led youth leadership organization in the world. Members have the opportunity to compete in career development events, win awards and scholarships, travel the state and the country and gain invaluable leadership skills. Its members become leaders in areas from biotechnology to business to natural resources.

FFA has outstanding scholarship opportunities. Last year, $2,000 in scholarships was awarded by the Rocky Mountain FFA, more than $100,000 was given by the Wyoming FFA and more than $2 million was awarded by National FFA.

Agricultural production today uses high-tech, efficient methods, including genetic engineering and use of drones. One American farmer produces enough food to feed 160 people, six times as much as 50 years ago. Each year, Wyoming makes more
than $1 billion from agricultural production. FFA prepares its members to meet the ever-changing demands of the ag industry through premier leadership, personal growth and career success.