Aroostook County Future Farmers of America group is heading to Washington
MARS HILL, Maine — Student leaders from Aroostook County’s farming community will head to the nation’s capital to learn and grow their leadership skills.
High school students from Central Aroostook High School and Washburn District High School have received scholarships to attend the Washington Leadership Conference June 21-26. Students will attend leadership workshops and improve on their skills with other students across the country, as well as see the many monuments and government buildings in Washington, D.C.
The Maine Future Farmers of America provided eight scholarships to cover travel and hotel expenses this year for students to attend the conference.
Seven of these scholarships were given to students from Central Aroostook High School, and one was given to a student from Washburn.
From Central Aroostook, the attendees will be Delaney McKeen, Abram McCrum, Ryder Brewer, Anna Kilcollins, Kassidy Blackstone, William Sargent and Wyatt Allen. From Washburn, Parker Corey will be traveling with the students from Central Aroostook. He is the first student from Washburn to ever attend the Washington Leadership Conference.
Corey has been a member of FFA for four years, being eager to sign up for the organization due to his family’s agricultural roots. While part of the organization, Corey has learned that the organization is not just about farming and agriculture, but taught him how to be a better person through volunteer work, including volunteering at the Can-Am dog sled race and donating more than 400 pounds of food to local charities.
“I am looking forward to building my leadership skills,” Corey said. “That is what really got me into applying for this scholarship and I am hoping that I can learn and bring my skills to the next level.”
The Central Aroostook students will hold an animal fair at the elementary school to show children the different animals that are raised in Aroostook County. They will hold a Drive Your Tractor to School Day, and will attend leadership workshops put on by state officials.
The Washington Leadership Conference allows students involved with FFA across the country to improve their leadership skills, and take what they learn back to their hometowns. The first conference was held in 1969, and has continued every year since. The conference was on a two-year hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a really wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Mars Hill FFA adviser Whitney Williams. “It’s always exciting to hear their stories when they get back.