Moffat County FFA hosts welcome BBQ, seeks increased involvement

The local chapter of Future Farmers of America is getting back in gear and looking to keep growing in numbers.

Moffat County FFA hosted its back-to-school barbecue event Tuesday at Loudy-Simpson Park, welcoming returning members and potential new recruits with hamburgers, hot dogs and lots of group activities.

MCHS senior Brook Wheeler was elected chapter president this spring for the agriculture-based organization and oversaw early activities in the past few weeks, such as a pancake breakfast during the Moffat County Fair.

Group members also aided with the animals during the Catch-a-Pig Contest following the rodeo.

“We have a really good group, and this year I think we have a lot more involvement as a group,” Wheeler said. “We’re really trying to push that as a chapter. My freshman year, we had a lot of that, and it’s kind of gone downhill, so we’re trying to get that back. We want to reach out more to the younger kids and maybe even kids in middle school and let them know what a great program FFA is.”

Junior Jolene Rhyne is the group’s vice president.

“We really want the underclassmen to keep getting more involved just so that by the time they graduate, they’re ready to continue it,” Rhyne said.

The local FFA students will have greater amounts of activities as the school year goes on, including attending the national conference in October.

Shelby Massey, an adviser for the group, said she and colleague Rick Murr will be joined by a third instructor this year as they seek to provide ag education.

They are still adding new students to the program and may see more in winter and spring.

“We have four intro classes with about 25 kids in each, but I think our numbers will be bigger,” Massey said. “We always want more kids involved and the officers have some really big goals to get more kids and have more contest teams and get them all excited and ready for stuff that can lead them to their future careers.”

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