Wed, 7 June 2023
OFI 1735: How To Win Over $1 Million In Scholarships & Prizes Through Ag Mechanics | Special FFA Episode | Jay Newton – FFA Advisor | Vega FFA
The Vega FFA Chapter has amassed over $1.1 million in scholarships and prizes through Ag Mechanics competitions in the State of Texas over the past 20 years. Jay Newton is the FFA Advisor and Emily Carlson is the Chapter President of the Vega FFA Chapter, and they join me on today's episode to discuss this incredible accomplishment and journey.
Starting in 2001, Jay Newton began to look at the FFA Experience a different way. Clearly, livestock projects dominated what students did for SAE projects, but he saw holes in those projects and opportunities for skill development that were being missed. So, he got the idea to try something radical. So, the next time he took his chapter to Houston, after the livestock shows were over they stayed an extra day and watched the Ag Mechanics competitions. Then, on the way back to Vega they discussed putting the chapter's efforts towards ag mechanics rather than livestock.
The students were on board, so Jay took the idea to the school board. This was the tough sell, but he was ready with a partnership that he had formed that would allow any FFA student to have a livestock project if that was what they wanted to do. Permission was granted, and the journey began. 20 years later, the small Vega FFA Chapter, has a story to tell and an example to share of achieving great success through Ag Mechanics.