National FFA Week

Southeast FFA

Jess Oaks
Posted 2/16/24

The Southeast FFA Chapter is no stranger to hard work and determination.

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National FFA Week

Southeast FFA


YODER – The Southeast FFA Chapter is no stranger to hard work and determination. 

The chapter has been winning competitions at local, state, and national levels for many years and throughout the years, many great advisors have wondered through the door. 

For Jay Clapper, Southeast Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA chapter advisor, FFA and agriculture education go hand in hand. 

Clapper stresses, FFA is more than meets the eye and to some, FFA has become a lifestyle.

“FFA means family, what I mean when I say family is that when you join this great thing called FFA you join the biggest family that you can be in,” Brea Mills of the Southeast FFA Chapter said. “FFA isn’t just about cows and plows as a lot of people think. It is FFA helps everyone outside of cows and plows, you don’t have to be a rancher or a farmer, you can come from town with barely any knowledge about ag and this big family will help you understand more about it.”

In 1925, Virginia Tech agriculture education teachers developed what would be the first FFA chapter for boys in agriculture classes, the Future Farmers of Virginia. Now, open to all students, FFA continues to push youth to excellence, even when they are terrified. 

“FFA has helped mold me into the person I am today by showing me different ways to overcome tough challenges in life, it also helped me become a better leader in this industry,” Mills explained. “My biggest obstacle was or probably still is public speaking but after a lot of practice of talking in front of people I am starting to overcome this fear by practice.”

Kailey Porter of the Southeast chapter has spent her entire high school career involved in FFA. She will be graduating this spring, but thankfully, the FFA organization allows members to still participate after high school.

“Throughout my FFA career I have participated in vet science, prepared speaking, and finally horse judging,” Porter explained. “Last year I was 10th overall in the state but was second in reasons. Looking back on my last four years of high school, there was really only one thing that was constant, and it was my love for FFA. I still remember the joy of finally being able to enjoy it as a freshman,” she continued. 

Tylar Stoddard, another Southeast FFA member believes FFA changed her life. 

“‘It’s your time to really change this world.’ That’s what Keynote speaker, Melvin Adams, expressed to a room of almost 1500 eager FFA members at the 2023 Wyoming State Convention,” Stoddard said. “This stuck with me because it’s something that I have always felt called to do. Change the world. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like solving cancer or finding a way to live on mars. I want to impact people and the world with something as simple as a smile. From FFA, I received many important skills that will help me take on future challenges,” she added.

Sydney Moeller of the Southeast FFA Chapter will be wrapping up her high school career too, but she is clearly convinced, the skills she has learned in FFA will make her successful, regardless of her future plans. 

“Being in FFA has taught me many valuable leadership skills that will help me in my career later in life, no matter what I choose to do,” Moeller expressed. “I am so grateful to my advisor as well as my wonderful teammates, who have helped me grow to the person I am today.”

Currently, there are 945,988 FFA members in 9,163 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island and they are the largest student-led organization, according to their website. 

“If I could give one piece of advice to the younger members of FFA I would say, it will be hard at the start but just keep doing what you do and not worry about what others think of you, if you know that you are doing everything in your power to do something right then keep doing it and push yourself to limits nobody thinks you can reach,” Mills said.

“FFA members embrace concepts taught in agricultural science classrooms nationwide, build valuable skills through hands-on experiential learning and each year demonstrate their proficiency in competitions based on real-world agricultural skills,” according to National FFA Organization website.

“I have held multiple FFA offices, I have done various different commotions which include, meats judging, poultry judging, livestock judging, horse judging, I have various different degrees which include, discovery degree, green hand degree, chapter degree, and state degree,” Southeast FFA member Abbie Forbes said. “My future goals are to become a nurse,” she added.

For more information about becoming a member of the National FFA Organization, please talk to your school guidance counselor or visit their website at