By IAIN MCMURRAY
The Moapa Valley and Virgin Valley FFA chapters, along with chapters from across the state, attended the Winter Leadership Conference in Mesquite Feb. 14-15. The two-day event was held in Casablanca and gave students the opportunity to learn about leadership skills and personal development opportunities.
The conference kicked off with members from across the state competing in various speaking events. One of them was Creed Speaking, where students memorize the FFA Creed in five paragraphs and present it. Another competition was Prepared Public Speaking, where students write their own 6-8 minute speech and present it. Finally, there was impromptu public speaking, where students are given a topic and 30 minutes to prepare before giving a 4-6 minute speech about it. These three events are designed to give students the chance to hone their speaking skills and demonstrate leadership.
Teagen Jensen in Creed Speaking, Isaac Thompson in Extemporaneous Public Speaking and Iain McMurray in Prepared Public Speaking competed for Moapa Valley. Although they didn’t know how they did for about a month, the students were satisfied with their performance.
“I was very impressed with all of the competitive conferences,” said Moapa Valley FFA Advisor Bryan Linford. “Those who compete really put their hearts into their work.”
Moapa Valley Ag teacher Lacey Tom confirmed, “I am so proud of our members and especially those who have participated in their leadership development events! They worked hard and I’m so proud of them!
In addition to participating in lectures, students also had the opportunity to attend a leadership seminar consisting of several sessions spread over the two days. Students were able to learn a variety of things, including strategies for more effective leadership, ways to plan more engaging activities, and how to make a greater impact in their communities and in the world. At the end, they had the chance to create their own “impact plan” that they would use to bring about change in their communities.
“I really had fun!” said Shaylee Adams, President of the Moapa Valley FFA, “It was so cool to spend more time with my chapter and meet kids from other chapters! The conference went well and I’m really happy to to have participated in it.
Due to COVID restrictions in place at the time, last year’s conference was held virtually. It just meant that students were even more excited to go in person this year.
The conference gives students the opportunity to network and talk to FFA members from across the state.
“It was so fun to see our members attend traditional in-person conferences and see them mingle with others while representing our chapter,” said Tom. “It was great to see all the FFA chapters together for some fun training sessions. This conference gives them a great opportunity to grow as leaders and as people.