Steamboat Springs Even though it's summertime, Soroco High School student Kimberly Rossi is not necessarily on vacation.
Kimberly, 15, is one of about 20 students participating in the South Routt chapter of the National FFA Organization, which develops leadership and entrepreneurial skills in high school students through agricultural education. Several FFA events are keeping South Routt students busy this summer. So much so that Kimberly's father wondered Monday when his daughter might get some time to relax.
"Some people say that kids these days don't have anything to do," hay and cattle rancher Dean Rossi said, standing outside the family home near Yampa. "That's not the case here."
On June 5, Kimberly said, the South Routt FFA chapter "loaded up in the school Suburbans" and drove to Pueblo for the 78th Colorado FFA Convention, held at the Colorado State Fairgrounds. More than 1,400 FFA participants from across the state attended the event, which included workshops, socializing and competitions in numerous agriculture-related areas.
Kimberly said chapter member Glenda Long received bronze awards in beef production, sheep production and diversified livestock production. Bryan Luark earned a silver award in an outdoor recreation competition, and the chapter's parliamentary procedure team earned a bronze award. Chapter President Kensie Scott received her state FFA Degree while at the convention. Receiving a state degree is a prestigious FFA honor, similar in scope to a Boy Scout becoming an Eagle Scout.
Kimberly, who will be a sophomore in the fall, earned a gold award in creed speaking, an event requiring participants to recite the five-paragraph FFA creed from memory.
On Sunday, about eight officers of the South Routt FFA chapter will travel to Bailey for the three-day Colorado FFA Officer Leadership Training Camp. The chapter members will ride horses and carry the FFA flag during the July 4 parade in Yampa.
The National FFA Organ--ization was founded in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America but changed its name in 1988 to reflect the broadening scope of agricultural education.
"I think it's a good idea," Kimberly said of the change, which still has not completely taken hold colloquially. "A lot of the town kids think they can't be in FFA because they're not farmers, but there are a lot of entrepreneurial activities they can do."
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