8th and 9th Graders Attend Greenhand Camp!


Alan Been

Greenhand Camp Attendees. (Braileigh Goe, Khloe Marez, Juliana Alvarez, Hannah Alvarez, Grace Henson, Kinze Henson, Jessica Mendoza, Aabriella Villanueva, Reiner Goe, Dominic Paz, Clayton Stevenson

Annabelle Anchondo, Writer

FFA Area 1 officers, including Senior and Area 1 Secretary Clayton Stevenson, got together to plan this year’s FFA Greenhand Camp which was held last Wednesday in Canyon. Freshman and 8th graders attended the event, and the area officers worked together to teach them about the importance of agriculture, expand their knowledge on FFA, and what it takes to be a student leader. Several students from the Area attended the Greenhand camp, one of them being 8th grader Hannah Alvarez. 

“This is my first year in FFA, so I’m very new to anything that has to do with agriculture,” Alvarez said. “Everyone that I had talked to about it said they had a great experience and it was really fun, so I just wanted to see what it was all about.” 

At the camp, the students moved from workshops to workshop where officers taught them about leadership, building relationships, opportunities in FFA, and various other things. They also participated in activities such as mud tug of war and musical haybales.  

“We tried to make a lot of it fun because that’s the biggest thing in FFA,” Stevenson said. “If we are going to keep kids, especially 8th graders and freshman, we have to make it fun. We have to make it interesting for them to keep coming.” 

The area officers held a meeting a month prior to begin planning the Greenhand Camp. Stevenson and other Area 1 Officer, Hayden Holwick, found out they were partners and spent a few weeks planning their workshop over FFA Official Dress.

“A lot of work was put into running it. It showed me how unified the FFA community is and how hard they all work.” Alvarez said. 

Greenhand Camp is the first of many leadership camps for FFA members.

“We want to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential of premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education,” Stevenson said. That’s our mission.”

Around 900 freshman and 8th graders attended Greenhand Camp wanting to be a part of FFA.  

“Of course not every kid is going to stay in agriculture, but with 2% of the population feeding the world and the rest of our country, it is important that a lot of them do,” Stevenson said. “I think the time that we spent putting it together, that makes an impact on the future of how we feed the world. I think that is more than well spent.” 

Texas has the largest number of farmers in the United States, and Texas is among the top five food producing states. Being in Texas and in an agriculturally based community, it is important that everyone understands how important agriculture is and what each farmer means to the rest of the world.  

“I hope they learned leadership skills, friendship, work ethic, and the value of agriculture,” Matt Clayton, a local farmer, said. “I think it’s a good and enlightening experience for those who aren’t quite directly related or involved in agriculture to get to experience and learn the ethic and importance of agriculture.”