FFA members find place to succeed
Go back three years, when Kassidy Pfaffle was an eighth-grader at New Hampton Middle School, and she would have told you she was going to make her mark in high school in athletics.
Unfortunately, a slew of knee surgeries didn’t make that possible, but that didn’t stop her from finding her niche as a high school student.
“FFA is one of the best things that ever happened to me,” the New Hampton High School junior said. “I don’t know if the right way to say it is that it filled that space with sports, but seriously, it’s been so good for me.”
And for New Hampton FFA advisor Jim Russ, Pfaffle’s story is one that should be highlighted during National FFA Week, which is being celebrated around the country through Saturday.
“I think one of the things that’s most gratifying about my job is to see so many kids blossom, if you will, in FFA,” said Russ, whose chapter has almost 120 members. “And they come from pretty much every segment of our school population. Kassidy is one of those kids, but she’s certainly not the only one.”
And as he does every year during National FFA Week, Russ is quick to point out that the days of FFA being “just for farm kids” are long gone.
“If we had just farm kids, we’d be a pretty small chapter,” he said. “All you have to do is look at the number of kids — and it’s not just here — that live on working farms. But agriculture isn’t just about the farm, and that’s one of the things FFA really works hard to highlight.”
It’s not that Pfaffle doesn’t have connections to FFA; after all, her father, Steve, is a high school ag teacher.
For more of this article, and more about FFA week, see Tuesday's Trib.