The Missouri FFA Association awarded Ashland FFA a Gold Emblem, a Top Chapter Award. Only 10 percent of state chapters receive a top chapter designation each year. Model of Innovation winners and rankings will be announced at a summer event. The National Chapter Award Program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities that emphasize growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership. This award is sponsored by FCS Financial. The Ashland FFA advisors are Rebekah Hammett and Kris Rankin. The Ashland FFA growing leaders activities included Operation FFA for EVERYONE. This was a week of interactive activities for all grade levels, such as creating and distributing survival bags, to help students build relationships. Chapter activities in the strengthening agriculture category included Educating in the Barn. An interactive barnyard allowed the community to learn more about FFA and agriculture through hands-on activities. Building communities activities included Working to Move Along. Ashland FFA teamed up with the Optimist Club to refurbish old bicycles to give back to the community. The members spent 80 hours after school rebuilding 30 bikes and recycled unused parts to purchase 30 helmets. The bikes and helmets were given to local community members. Members learned about mechanical work and the importance of giving back. The top chapters compete for the National FFA Chapter Award. Winners will be announced this fall at the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. See page 5 for individual winners.

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