Seventeen Tyrone Area FFA members attended the 22nd annual Agricultural Cooperation Establishes Success (ACES) conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on February 8-9. Over the three different weekends, the conference was attended by more than 1600 members from across the state.
On the first day of ACES, members were split into groups for workshops. The workshops which they participated in were held by the PA FFA State Officer Team, former PA FFA State Officers, and the PA FFA Association.
These workshops were divided into two tracks- one for freshman/sophomores and one for juniors/seniors. For the freshman/sophomores, their workshops focussed on professionalism, FFA etiquette, responsibility, record keeping, conversation skills, SMART goals, and the FFA mission/motto. Juniors/seniors focused on the five levels of leadership, networking, exploring Pennsylvania agriculture, FFA and your future, and financial responsibility.
“I liked meeting new people while getting to hear their FFA stories. I also enjoyed how the State Officers taught each of the lessons through their workshops,” said sophomore Trinity Lingafelt
Following workshops, the students checked into their hotel rooms and attended dinner. They practiced proper table etiquette while also enjoying entertainment involving some ag teacher in attendance and a DJ. After dinner, students had the opportunity to socialize and burn off energy at the dance social.
“The dance was a lot of fun and I was able to meet a lot of new people at it,” said freshman Leo Veit.
Before lights out, students attended a 20-minute reflection on how one needs to overcome fears, strive to make the best out of every situation, and how grudges should not be held against others.
“The reflections were very powerful and made me think a lot about how they can affect my life,” said sophomore Michael Chronister.
Before departing the next morning, the members participated in a moment of inspiration which was followed by a community service activity. For the activity, each member wrote a letter to someone in a nursing home.
“ACES was overall very rewarding in the lessons it taught me and it allowed me to meet a lot of FFA members around the state. I would definitely go again,” remarked freshman Jaden Williams.
Special thanks to CSX Transportation, Ag Choice Farm Credit, The Universal Leaf Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Agricultural, Pennsylvania FFA Alumni and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation for sponsoring portions of the conference.