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Farming group alumni form chapter

A group of adults in Loyd Star have found a way to support aprogram that keeps kids learning about the finer points ofagricultural life, and they made it official Tuesday night in theLoyd Star Attendance Center library.

A group of former Future Farmers of America have been workingfor a while to support the chapter at Loyd Star, but Tuesday nightthey officially kicked off Lincoln County’s first FFA AlumniChapter.

“We’re pleased to see the amount of support adults already givethese kids, it speaks volumes for what we do here,” said Loyd Staragriculture teacher Billy Sumrall.

The group is made up of adults interested in helping withprojects and fundraisers for the FFA and other agriculturalprojects for Lincoln County students.

“Anybody can join if they feel like doing it,” said newpresident Lanny Dickey. “There is not another FFA foundation orprogram in Lincoln County, and if anyone else wants to join there’sno problem with that.”

And despite the name of the group, people who are not alumni ofthe organization are welcome to join as well, Sumrall said.

“The FFA is still basically run by students with adultoversight,” he said. “That’s what this alumni chapter would do. Butyou don’t have to have been in the FFA to be in the alumnichapter.”

The group was just voted into being Tuesday night, and themembership then voted Dickey into office. He said the next big stepis to make people aware of the group and its aims.

“We’re going to get a letterhead made up and send out anewsletter and let everyone know what we’ve done and that we haveofficers elected,” he said. “And we’ll get a form in there foranyone who wants to join, to try to get more people involved.”

Among possible projects in the future are sending students tonational conventions, where they will meet and exchange ideas withother FFA members from all over the country.

“We need money to do that,” Sumrall said. “And we together as analumni group could do something to get some funds together to helpwhere we can do these things.”

And giving students that backup gives them the power to achievetheir goals – not only as an organization, but also personally.

“I see the goal out there, and talking from my differentexperiences out there I can say that if you have the right studentsinvolved, you can do just about anything,” Sumrall said.

FFA at Loyd Star has taught kids practical skills, but they alsocreated biofuel last year, Sumrall said.

“We still have it in a jar, we wouldn’t even burn it,” he said.”These kids can do anything if we believe in them. They canaccomplish anything.”

Dickey agreed that the alumni chapter is important because theFFA is in place to teach kids values and skills that will followthem throughout their lives.

“I think its important because of the fact that people need toget back to having kids something to do,” he said. “Agriculture iswhat this country was founded on really, and we’ve gotten away fromit. We’re trying to keep kids more involved in it.”