By: Mollie Lastovica
Over 300 FFA members from over 20 schools across the state met in College Station on Nov. 3 for the Aggiefest Invitational Leadership Development Event.
Hosted by the Future Agricultural Science Teachers organization, the Aggiefest contest is open to all Texas FFA Chapters and gives students the chance to prepare for their quiz, creed speaking, radio broadcasting, public relations, chapter conducting, agricultural issues and job interview contests.
“The FAST organization gets the opportunity to help current FFA students by giving them feedback that they can implement before their district contests,” FAST President Ashley Hambleton, senior agricultural science major, said. “Aggiefest also helps promote our department by having the contest in the AGLS building and by exposing the high school students to current college students in one of our four majors.
FFA members benefit from the competitive setting Aggiefest offers as they prepare for their district LDE contests.
“It gives the students the chance to participate in a contest. This can be beneficial to students as they can learn from their experience and improve their mistakes,” Hambleton said. “Some agricultural science teachers use this event to decide which student performs better under pressure and will represent their chapter at the district contest.”
The contest not only exposes prospective students to the department and gives them a chance to compete, but also, it gives future agricultural science teachers a hands-on learning experience relevant to their career path.
“The FAST members gain firsthand experience and insight into each contest they judge,” Hambleton said. “This gives the members the opportunity to be more prepared for training teams in their future as a FFA advisor.”
Associate Professor Julie Harlin, Ph.D., coordinates with Associate Dean for Student Development, Chris Skaggs, Ph.D., in the spring to set the fall Aggiefest date. FAST officers and members help with the production and distribution of contest materials and judging the contests.
“Aggiefest would not be possible without the FAST members’ willingness to give up a Saturday to help judge each contest,” Hambleton said. “The 2012 Aggiefest was very successful!”