Wilson completes leadership training in Washington, D.C.

High school students from throughout the country spent a week undergoing training that helped them identify their strengths, establish personal goals and strengthen leadership skills. Tierney Wilson from the Cortez FFA Chapter attended the conference July 8-12.

More than 2,300 students and 250 teachers attended the National FFA Organization’s 2014 Washington Leadership Conference. The annual conference, which dates to 1969, includes seven, one-week sessions in Washington, D.C., from June through July.

Based at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, FFA members received instruction and training led by education professionals, counselors and FFA staff.

New this year was the opportunity for students to engage representatives from sponsor companies CSX, Monsanto, TransCanada, Farm Credit and Crop Production Services to learn about their operations and discuss future career opportunities.

Students also toured Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol, Newseum and the Smithsonian.

Students also shared needs of their respective communities and worked together to create a community-service project that their FFA chapter can implement in their home towns. Wilson created a service plan of action which she will share with her fellow chapter officers at a retreat in August. With the help of the Cortez FFA Chapter, Wilson hopes to follow through on her plan to address hunger and agricultural education in Montezuma County “to do what we can, with what we have, where we are”.

Wilson, who will serve as Cortez FFA Chapter president for the 2014-2015 school year, earned a scholarship sponsored by the Colorado FFA Foundation to attend the premier conference. When asked about her experience in the nation’s capital, Wilson replied, “I learned how simple and easy it is to change someone’s life and give service willingly. Service isn’t a burden. One little thing can make a difference.”