The Nebraska FFA Association spent the second part of May hosting statewide Chapter Officer Leadership Training, better known as COLT to the FFA members who attend.
COLT is an annual conference where 103 FFA chapters from across the state gathered at the Leadership Center in Aurora to work on the leadership and communication skills they will need for the upcoming school year. The sessions were each led by the 2023-2024 Nebraska State FFA Officer Team, composed of seven recently graduated high school seniors who will dedicate the next year to serving Nebraska FFA members.
State FFA President Thomas Perrin of Ogallala said this year’s theme for the conference and training sessions was “the secret ingredient.”
“We try to base our theme around cooking, being in the kitchen, and being a five-star officer,” said Perrin. “Like five-star foods, there’s ingredients that go into making us top-notch officers for our chapters for the year.”
Perrin said his favorite part of the experience has been getting to know members.
“This week is really about meeting more members from across the state,” said Perrin. “It is a great time for us state officers, and my teammates to really get out there and make our first impression on members and really get to know as many people as we can.”
FFA chapter officers broke into groups according to their individual office to work through leadership presentations on things like group communication and conflict resolution. Chapters were also given time to work together to plan for the year ahead.
Lily Srajhans, president of the Fillmore Central FFA Chapter, made her third trip to COLT this year. Srajhans said that each attendance has been beneficial for her and her chapter.
“We worked through a lot of things like how to negotiate, which is good because you can’t always get everything you want,” said Srajhans. “My chapter is using this time to set everything up for the year to help it run smoothly. If we have questions about things, we are addressing them now.”
The COLT conference was held from May 18-27 with 4 separate, 2 day sessions. Other summer activities for Nebraska FFA include Supervised Agricultural Experience home visits, county fair activities, and other volunteer opportunities that individual chapters decide to participate in.