Watford City Kickstarts Middle School FFA Program

Watford City Middle School is the first school in the state of North Dakota to have an established middle school FFA Chapter.

Grace Dragseth, Watford City Middle School Ag Teacher, kickstarted the chapter in August, with a goal to get middle school students involved with agriculture and community service.

"FFA benefits middle schoolers, giving them a true passion to look for once they get to high school, allowing them the opportunity to explore career options," Dragseth said. "It incorporates community involvement, leadership skills, and networking, which prepares them for high school, college, and their future careers"

There are a total of 60 members with more in the process of joining. She added, "The Watford City Middle School FFA consists of a group of passionate young ag professionals who are interested in leadership positions related to agriculture."

Woodworking, welding, horticulture, floriculture, equine science, vet science, wildlife and natural resources, poultry, livestock, animal judging, job interviews, and ag sales are among many of the projects offered.

The chapter conducts weekly FFA meetings using proper parliamentary procedure, volunteers at ag-related events, helps the community, and competes in the various middle school CDE events around the state.

The members participate in a fruit and steak fundraiser, volunteer at the Soil Conservation Banquet, and create tie-blankets for children-in-need.

Dragseth said she enjoys advising the members and providing them with "quality" opportunities. "I absolutely love seeing all of my members having fun and enjoying themselves while learning something new! I also like taking the kids on trips and watching them make new friends and experience new things that they've never done or seen before."

Dragseth hopes the organization will raise enough funds to attend more CDE competitions and the National FFA convention. She also hopes the club can help the community, volunteer more, and help her members find their niche within FFA.

Looking forward, Dragseth hopes Watford City Middle School's FFA members' active involvement will influence other schools to implement a middle school FFA.

She explained, "I really do hope that other schools start a Middle School FFA.  It really helps the kids in our school who don't fit into the "sports mold" and gives them a sense of belonging in a separate area."


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