Established in 1940, Waxahachie FFA now has over 460 active members that take part in livestock projects, shop projects, LDEs (Leadership Development Events), CDEs (Career Development Events), and other programs that promote leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. The chapter is led by agricultural science teachers James Glenn, Jeanette Middleton, and Brooks Humphrey.
Looking to give back, these three teachers—all former FFA members—lead and guide students and promote chapter growth. James Glenn, a Waxahachie native and Tarleton State University alumni, has been teaching Agricultural Science in Waxahachie for two years. Throughout his FFA career, he showed market swine and competed in horse and livestock judging events. Glenn teaches because, “If I can make a positive influence in a life the way mine was influenced, then it makes my job worthwhile.”
Jeanette Middleton grew up in Waxahachie and graduated from Tarleton State University. In FFA, she showed market lambs and competed in various Career Development and Leadership Development Events. Middleton wants to give her students the FFA experiences and lifelong values that continue well past graduation. “The opportunity to teach students about the wonderful things that agriculture has to offer and reintroducing agriculture into urbanized homes in the growing town of Waxahachie,” is the best thing about teaching agriculture, says Middleton.
Brooks Humphrey is passionate about FFA. A graduate of Tarleton State University, Humphrey grew up in Marion, and showed market sheep, swine, goats, and steers in high school. He also competed in Livestock Judging, Senior Skills, Chapter Conducting and Milk Quality. Humphrey gives back to FFA and impacts students through teaching them about agriculture and our day-to-day dependence on it.
Chapter members participate in a variety of shows and expos, including major stock shows such as the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, San Angelo Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This year, Waxahachie FFA will enter 56 Swine projects, 37 Goat projects, 8 Sheep projects, 10 pens of Broilers & 17 Rabbit projects in the Ellis County Youth Expo in April.
Each year, 13 to 15 Waxahachie FFA teams compete in Career Development Events at the area level, with many moving on to the Texas FFA State CDE competition. Members also compete in Leadership Development Events, yearly, with 2016 seeing seven chapter teams advance to the Area VIII FFA competition. Four of those teams advanced to the Texas FFA State LDE competition. At the state level, competition comes from all 10 areas of the Texas FFA.
The Waxahachie chapter recently expanded its program to offer the Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) program, where students participate in local jackpots and livestock practice shows to gain experience in the show ring and develop showmanship skills.
Both current and former chapter members have held top positions within the FFA and won numerous awards, including Texas FFA State Officer, Top 10 Ford Leadership Scholar, District FFA and Area FFA officers, as well as many Champion and Reserve Champion awards at various livestock shows.
As Waxahachie FFA continues to grow, it strives to develop a chapter that serves the community in a positive manner and excels in creating the leaders of tomorrow. The Waxahachie FFA lives and breathes the FFA motto, “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”
Ark Country Store is proud of the Waxahachie FFA, and we want to wish them the best of luck at the 2017 Ellis County Youth Expo!