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FIRE and CPC Fall Conference
Powell-Shoshone FFA members gather at the Wyoming FFA Fall leadership conference to gain leadership and connections.
Powell-Shoshone FFA members gather at the Wyoming FFA Fall leadership conference to gain leadership and connections.
Tori Black

On November 16 and 17, members of the Powell-Shoshone FFA traveled to Casper, Wyoming, to participate in the Finding Inspiration and Reaching Excellence (FIRE) conference and Chapter Presidents’ Conference (CPC) as part of the annual Fall Leadership Conference.

 “The Fire and CPC conference teaches our members many different leadership skills and how to work with other members they have not talked to before,” senior Brooke Bessler said. “It grows their social and communication skills. They are able to work in a team setting and meet people their age from all across the state.” 

The FIRE conference is designed for official members who are freshmen or sophomores in high school, as well as any first-year members. Participants at the conference are assigned specific objectives and goals for the weekend, fostering an environment that encourages interaction and communication among fellow members.

“I feel that this year’s conference has benefited other members of FFA as well as myself by allowing us to create connections with like-minded individuals from around the state,” sophomore Meijsa McCrary said.

I feel that this year’s conference has benefited other members of FFA as well as myself by allowing us to create connections with like-minded individuals from around the state.

— sophomore Meijsa McCrarry

The FIRE conference paired members with activities and mentors that are focused on building teamwork and leadership with members that are from other chapters, or backgrounds.

“[The conference] gives us the opportunity to be part of something bigger than ourselves,” McCrary said. “In other words it provides a sense of unity, comfort, and belonging.”

At a session of the Fall Conference, the Wyoming FFA extended a special invitation to Nick “Sunshine” Tokman, a cast member from Deadliest Catch and an inspirational speaker. Nick shared valuable insights with the organization, emphasizing the importance of pursuing dreams while recounting his own life experiences.

“I think Nick Tokman (the keynote speaker) is a very interesting character with lots of compassion for humanity,” McCrary said. “He’s extremely resilient, hard working, motivated, and enthusiastic, and I believe those are great characteristics that I hope to embody someday.”

Tokman brought enthusiasm and excitement to the session through connections, jokes, and some dance breaks.

“My favorite part of the conference was watching lots of FFA members run to the stage after being offered to dance along with Nick Tokman,” sophomore Tori Black said. “It was a good way to get everyone excited and motivated.

Along with the underclassman members, 3 officer representatives attended the CPC conference on behalf of the chapter. The representatives were senior and President Emma Brence, senior and Vice-President Brooke Bessler, and senior and 2nd Vice-President Wyatt Blackmore.

“[The Conference] really helps younger or new members get connected throughout the state,” Blackmore said. “For most it’s the first time they get to meet and interact with the new State Officer team, which is always fun.”

[The Conference] really helps younger or new members get connected throughout the state. For most it’s the first time they get to meet and interact with the new State Officer team, which is always fun.

— senior Wyatt Blackmore

The top 2 ranked officers participate in the voting process during a session and the 3 officers sent to participate in the delegate process and leadership workshops.

“My favorite part of the conference was being able to be a part of the delegate process and being able to vote on something that really matters in FFA,” Bessler said.

Every year members and chapters have the opportunity to submit proposals of issues and solutions within the organization. Then at the session each officer gets to choose the proposal they want to represent or change. From there the committee of members can choose to strike, amend or accept the proposal and give feedback and discussion on the proposal.

“[The delegate process] gives chapters a way to bring new idea, changes or recommendations to the attention of our state leaders,” Blackmore said. “This helps keep our organization always improving.”

Following the conference the proposals that were amended and accepted will proceed to the Board of Directors where the vote on the proposals will be sent to the Wyoming State FFA Delegate session where the final vote will take place.

 “The delegate committee was an awesome experience,” Bessler said. “We were able to discuss these proposals and see different view points from members who were part of larger or smaller chapters and how these proposals could potentially impact chapter members and Wyoming FFA as a whole.”

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