1,075 North Dakota FFA members from 70+ chapters attended the 2019 Winter Leadership Conferences (WLC) in Bismarck, ND on January 5th and 6th. These conferences are comprised of three unique and individual leadership conferences – the Greenhand Conference/101°, 212° and 360° Leadership Conferences. Service projects will also be conducted during the weekend by the ND FFA members.
Developed as an introductory conference for students, this conference is conducted by the ND FFA State Officer Team and is attended by members in 7th, 8th and 9th (freshman) grade. The topics and workshops are built to give this group of members the foundational qualities of leadership. The Tom and Frances Leach Foundation has sponsored this conference for almost two decades.
212° and 360° Leadership Conferences
212° – the temperature at which water boils – focuses on taking students to the boiling point of leadership. At 211° water is extremely hot, but just one more degree gets us to the next level. The two-day 212° Leadership Conference is focused on student development and helps FFA members become aware of personal growth. FFA members attend sessions on making positive decisions, setting SMART goals and taking steps towards self-improvement.
360° – takes students full circle in terms of chapter leadership. The two-day 360° conference is focused on the importance of influence and how to become an influential leader. Students spent their time in sessions understanding the importance of influence, conducting a chapter needs assessment, crafting an influence plan for their local FFA chapter and developing a strategy to make an influence.
The 212° and 360° conferences are sponsored in part by Twin Cities Region Northland Ford, CHS Foundation, and Monsanto/Asgrow/Dekalb/
The first of the two State-Officer-organized service projects taking place at WLC seeks to benefit the Children’s Hospitals of Sanford Health and CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, ND by collecting items intended to ease a child’s time in the hospital. Items sought include toys, crafts, sporting balls, gift cards, movies, games and more.
The second service project aims to raise money for the Granville FFA Chapter Vice President, who has been diagnosed with cancer. In an attempt to generate funds for him and his family, wristbands will be sold at the WLC dance, as well as a “dollar dance” event on the evening of January 5th.
“The Winter Leadership Conference offers great opportunities for members to hone their leadership skills, and is a weekend we look forward to every year,” says Tamra Maddock, Executive Director of the North Dakota FFA Foundation. “In addition to the personal growth we’ll see, it is inspiring to think of the impact these service projects will have on people in need within our communities and state. To see members from across the state come together and carry out these projects is something special.”
The 2019 WLC was also the time in which 273 members received their first blue corduroy FFA jacket courtesy of the ND FFA Foundation’s program, Blue Jacket Bright Futures, which provides the iconic jackets to members who may not have the financial resources to obtain their own.