FFA advisor Casey Wood and her students attended the Florida FFA State Convention this year.

The Brandon High School FFA Alumni chapter was founded nearly 100 years ago to promote leadership skills, business success and personal growth while supporting the community.

As the chapter approaches the 100th year anniversary, secretary Lindsay Flynn said, “The goal this year is to get back out in the community, build connections and to live out the ‘Living to Serve’ part of the FFA motto.”

Since its inception, the chapter has hosted many agriculture-related events, such as petting zoos and Wonders of Wildlife Festivals, and helped young students with their FFA projects through its land lab.

The lab is open from dawn to dusk and monitored by FFA advisor Casey Wood and a team of student leaders who help maintain the area. The chapter is currently working on updating its greenhouse and plans to add crop rows and a butterfly garden by the end of the year.

“[Brandon High School] and FFA chapter have been around for a very long time, and that is something we like take a lot of pride in since not all the schools have been around this long,” said Wood.

The alumni chapter is composed of 67 members, with over 20 members who actively support and participate in events throughout the school year. The four-officer executive board is elected each year and gives members the opportunity to showcase leadership skills and foster friendships.

“FFA provided me with friendships, leadership skills, a passion for agriculture and science as well as a community of people that supports me to this day,” said Flynn. “Without any hesitation, I joined the alumni to give back to the organization that gave me so much.”

In addition to supporting community events, the alumni chapter started a scholarship in memory of Brandon FFA Alumni Becky Ensley, who died tragically in a car accident. To honor her role in the chapter, the scholarship supports students who plan to attend a technical school, community college or university.

To join the FFA Alumni chapter, complete the Google Form on its Facebook page @BrandonFFAalumni or email brandonffaalumni@gmail.com.

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Lily Belcher is a writer for The Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey since completing her internship. Lily plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in Communications while writing for The Oracle.