Fulgham Serves as Sidney FFA Chapter Advisor
Sidney High School's Future Farmers of America Chapter is now being run with a new advisor. Ted Fulgham of Libby, accepted the position in January and has been busy ramping up the program and implementing some new ideas.
"My short term goal is to get the students really active in the community and my long term goal is to have a balanced and successful chapter that is strong in all aspects of the program," Fulgham said. Some of the categories the students participate in include speaking, horticulture, mechanics, and livestock judging. "While the Chapter is exceptionally strong in some areas, there are others that need some work," he said.
He would like to see the students participate in community service projects such as helping put together commodity boxes for the food bank, assisting with Purina Days in collaboration with Tractor Supply and working with other local businesses for the good of the community. Further out, he would also like to locate an area where the students can keep their livestock. Currently, each child keeps their animal at home.
Fulgham received his Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Education from MSU-Bozeman and has worked as a teacher for 12 years in Hardin and Lodge Grass. He came to the area in January of 2012 to work as a gauger in oil patch for the Highland Crude Oil Company. "When the advisor position became available I knew I was ready to go back into the field I was passionate about. It's rewarding to work with the students and make a change for the future," he added.
His wife, Evonne (Brown), is originally from Sidney and teaches first grade at Westside School. Together they have four children; Trey, 20, Rafe, 8, Thor, 6, and Cooper, 4.
Community members will have an opportunity to attend an open-house event on May 8-9 in the high school commons area. There, FFA students will showcase some of their projects which will include agriculture, metal works, woodworking and skills. Attendees will be able to visit some of the classrooms where the work takes place as well.
In late March, students participated in the state's FFA convention, Great Falls. There, Emily Schaff, a senior, received her state degree. Also, Rian Cobb, a sophomore, was elected to the nominating committee to assist with selecting state officers.
The mantra of the Chapter is "Learning to do. Doing to learn. Earning to live. Living to serve," promoting hard work and dedication to community.
In the last 20 years the local organization has been involved with many activities. They have been avid fundraisers and have participated in the MonDak Ag Days and Ag in the Classroom with local students. They have organized an annual Marion Kay Spice fundraiser and hosted the Donkey Basketball Tournaments.
The organization provides area youth with scholarships and takes part in community service activities. They also host career development events and attend local, state and national conventions.
The local Chapter also partners with Richland Opportunities Incorporated and their recycling program by assisting with the recycling of pop cans, newspapers and other goods through drop-boxes they have built and placed in the community.
Throughout the years, many students have achieved awards and accolades through the program. One of the highest honors to receive is the American FFA Degree. To date, six Sidney Chapter participants have received this award including; Albert H. Groskinsky in 1953, Chester Hill in 1988, James Hill in 1989, Ethan Schaff in 2010, and Ben Johnson and Megan Greenwood in 2011.
Students involved in FFA have to be enrolled in at least one agriculture class during one semester, each year.
Nationally, the organization was established in 1928. In 1988, people began referring to it by its acronym.