MFA Oil Supports State FFA Organizations
June 17, 2022
Written By Adam Buckallew
As a farmer-owned cooperative, MFA Oil understands the need to support programs dedicated to developing future leaders in agriculture. The company has partnered with state FFA organizations in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma to sponsor opportunities for youth to pursue hands-on educational, personal development and leadership training.
One of the ways the company is helping FFA is by sponsoring the purchase of the iconic blue FFA jackets in Kansas and Oklahoma. The blue corduroy jackets not only are part of the FFA official dress code but also serve as a symbol of community and pride for members. Providing the jackets to FFA members in need helps to remind the students that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Estrella Molina, an FFA member from Marlow, Okla., is one of 14 students in the Sooner State who received an FFA jacket because of an MFA Oil sponsorship.
“Thank you for your support in providing me with this jacket,” Molina wrote to MFA Oil. “I deeply appreciate you giving me this opportunity to wear my jacket with pride. Your contribution is helping me achieve something great.”
Sponsorship of FFA supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs) is another area where MFA Oil is providing resources to students. The cooperative sponsors SAE grants for FFA members who need financial assistance in Arkansas and Kansas. The grant programs allow FFA members to start or expand their SAE through the purchase of necessary equipment, livestock or supplies.
One Kansas student who benefitted from an SAE sponsorship is DeAnna Smith, a member of the Mission Valley FFA chapter in Eskridge, Kan. Smith has raised show goats for eight years and received a grant to help with the purchase of bedding materials, veterinary bills and minerals for her goats.
“My goats are my pride and joy,” Smith wrote in a thank-you letter to MFA Oil. “Watching the kids jump around and play are my favorite part of my day.”
Jennifer Cook, executive director of the Arkansas FFA Foundation, said SAEs provide experimental learning opportunities for students.
“FFA members who succeed with their SAEs demonstrate they are self-starters who can set and achieve goals,” Cook said. “I think when we reward kids for their hard work, they are motivated to work even harder. We validate their efforts and applaud their choice to develop career-readiness skills. They also learn that even when we set goals and work hard, sometimes things don’t work out exactly how we planned. This is real life!”
In Missouri, MFA Oil sponsors FFA leadership training activities. The state’s leadership camp provides a week-long opportunity for high school FFA members from across Missouri to learn how to set goals, overcome obstacles and develop their communication and interpersonal skills.
“Sponsorships from MFA Oil and others allow Missouri FFA to stretch our financial resources to provide a quality experience for the campers,” said Keith Dietzschold, who serves as agriculture education director for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri FFA state advisor. “MFA Oil’s sponsorship of leadership programs at Missouri FFA Camp provides the tools and resources to allow our MO FFA members to continue on a path to develop Growing Leadership, Building Communities and Strengthening Agriculture skills.”
MFA Oil supports FFA because the need for more advocates and leaders in the agricultural industry continues to grow.
“We know that FFA members represent the future of our industry, and we are proud to assist FFA organizations in ways that help students achieve their goals,” said Jon Ihler, MFA Oil president and CEO.
Agriculture teachers are vital to developing their students’ understanding and appreciation for the agricultural industry. In recognition of their important role, MFA Oil is profiling the amazing work ag teachers do to prepare the next generation of leaders in agriculture.