FFA Advisor Amanda Bell has high hopes for the future of her chapter

In the rural community of Summersville, Mo., home to 502 residents, its FFA program is its pride and joy, and several trips to state convention and wins at the national level. With previous Summersville High School graduate, Amanda Bell, as its sponsor at the helm with 12 years experience as an agriculture instructor and FFA advisor, it is sure to continue its healthy growth. Currently, the program has 43 active members and continues its membership climb yearly.

Members of the rural Texas County, have diversified interests, and the focus of the chapter’s  SAE (Student Agriculture Experience) are reflective of that diversity.

Amanda said the SAE focus includes ownership of livestock (beef cattle, dairy cattle, equine, swine and chickens), lawn mowing, forest products, and placement in the areas of farm labor, gardening, trail rides, restaurants and maintenance/tire shops.

Each spring, FFA members showcase the skills they learn in Career Development and Leadership Development contests across the region. Teams that place well at area and district competitions advance to state contests. A first-place win at state earns teams a trip to the National FFA Convention.

Being a dedicated agriculture instructor, Amanda is very proud of some of her chapter’s success.

She said the Summersville FFA Chapter’s Knowledge team received fourth at state, first at districts; Forestry placed second at districts, first at area; Dairy Foods received second at districts; Floriculture placed third at districts; and Fall Grasslands placed second at area.

Individually, Patrick Hawkins received first in his class for steer at Texas County Fair and MaKysha Spencer placed first in her class for showmanship at the Texas County Fair.

“Taking groups of students that represent our school and community in a positive way (is rewarding),” she said.

While the chapter has earned several honors, Amanda is always looking toward the future. Her goals include adding members to the program, increasing hands-on projects in the classroom, increase SAE projects and increase participation in contest and activities (i.e. public speaking, proficiency awards areas and spring contests).

While FFA activities are a big part of the program at Summersville, Amanda believes there is much more to the organization than people realize.

“FFA is so much more than just typical farming; it’s teaching students skills that can be carried and used for a lifetime: public speaking, leadership skills, hands on experiences, career opportunities/exploration, scholarships, studying/testing skills, work ethic, competition, public service opportunities, travel, etc.”


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