BCLUW welcomes first ever FFA chapter

Members of the inaugural BCLUW FFA chapter received their jackets at a special ceremony in the high school commons area on Sunday night. A total of 34 students are participating in the organization this year. (Photo courtesy of Tara Leytham)  

For the 34 members of the BCLUW FFA chapter who received their jackets on Sunday evening, the ceremony represented more than just the beginning of a new year: it’s an entirely new era under the leadership of ambitious director and second year Vocational Agriculture instructor Tara Leytham.

           

Since Beaman-Conrad-Liscomb and Union-Whitten first joined together three decades ago, the district has not had an independent FFA chapter: the U-W group was a casualty of the merger, and students got involved in other units such as the Heartland FFA and South Hardin FFA that encompassed several districts. Of the students interviewed on Monday afternoon, several had parents and relatives who were members of these chapters. In recent years, Comets wishing to participate travelled to Grundy Center.

 

But that’s all changed with Leytham—one of her first goals upon accepting her position was to establish a chapter, and Sunday night culminated over a year’s worth of work toward making the dream a reality.

 

“I had enough kids here in just the classes I taught that wanted to be in FFA, (but) they just didn’t want to make the distance,” Leytham said. “So having a program here was essential because I can get a ton of kids in it, and they can get all those experiences and rewards out of it without having to travel.” 

 

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