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FFA members take part in leadership conference
0812 Bayley Morgan - WLC
Bayley Morgan - photo by Photo provided

Two members from the Effingham County High School FFA chapter traveled to Washington, D.C., this summer to attend the Washington Leadership Conference, hosted by the National FFA Organization.

Annah Shearouse, chapter president, and Bayley Morgan, chapter vice president, along with 2,400 other FFA members from throughout the country spent a week in the nation’s capital.

FFA members learned to define their strengths, set personal goals, learn crucial leadership skills and ultimately devise a community-service initiative that will help people in their local communities.

During their time in D.C., FFA members also toured the Washington Monument, War Memorial, the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol. Students also arranged meetings with members of Congress.

Each of the week-long conferences ended with FFA members volunteering their entire day to community service. This year, FFA members packed over 400,000 meals of chicken, rice and macaroni and cheese for distribution in the greater D.C. area. Last year, FFA members packed school supplies for more than 400 students in the D.C. area.

The 2014 National FFA Organization Washington Leadership Conference was sponsored by title sponsors Monsanto and CSX and weekly sponsors TransCanada, Crop Production Services and Farm Credit.

“The National FFA Organization and Monsanto have a shared goal of supporting future leaders of the agriculture industry,” said Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto’s customer advocacy outreach manager. “Students will learn valuable skills to lead their FFA chapters in successful community service activities and prosper in agricultural careers.”

“The Washington Leadership Conference underscores the reputable values of leadership, civic engagement and community service shared by FFA students and CSX employees,” said Tori Kaplan, CSX assistant vice president of corporate social responsibility. “We are honored to do our part to develop leaders of tomorrow.”

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Shearouse and Morgan were both recipients of WLC scholarships. These scholarships covered most of the cost to attend the conference and both girls were recognized on the local and state level for their accomplishments. Shearouse received a WLC scholarship for $750 sponsored by Verizon Wireless and Morgan received a WLC scholarship for $500 sponsored by the Georgia FFA Alumni Association.

Shearouse is the daughter of Randy and Rhonda Shearouse and Morgan is the daughter of Ragan and Alicia Edwards.