At the Natrona County School Board meeting on Monday, several students and teachers represented the Future Farmers of America organization and the impact it has had on students.

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The FFA holds annual competitions that middle and high school students in Wyoming participate in to show off their knowledge of agriculture and animals, with several students from Casper winning at the most recent competition at the beginning of April.

Miranda Dickenson, vice president of the Casper FFA, said that because of her work with FFA, she was able to go to college without having to pay.

"FFA has given me not only countless experiences but also countless hand-ups in terms of scholarships for college," Dickenson said. "I recently received a $6,900 scholarship through my work in FFA and through this, I don't have to pay for college. So I think FFA is not only good for the building of your character and the betterment of your character, but it also helps in the long run."

Kyla Foltz, FFA advisor for CY Middle school, said that she's happy that two students will be submitting a science paper to a state contest, the first time in an ever science paper submitted in several years from middle school students, and appreciated the support given to them by the board.

After people had presented the benefits of the program, most members of the board spoke about the importance of the FFA and the benefits it gives to students.

Trustee Clark Jensen said that after listening to presentations by FFA members, he continues to appreciate the accomplishments of the students involved.

"I've been listening to the FFA report to our board for probably seven to eight years now and it's always amazing to see the enthusiasm you bring and the awards that you show us you've won," Jensen said. "So it's just been one of those things I look forward to."

Trustee Dave Applegate said that because of how important agriculture is to Wyoming, he appreciates the enthusiasm students in FFA bring.

"In Wyoming, our economic colors are energy and resource extraction, agriculture, and tourism," Applegate said. "So agriculture is so important to Wyoming. I'm from an education family, not an agriculture family, but I think it's some of my good friends who are ranching today, very successful ranchers in Natrona and Converse County. So I hope some of you will stay in Wyoming and be part of our agricultural heritage."

Trustees Debbie McCullar, Rita Walsh, Dana Howie, Kyla Alvey, Thomas Myler, Raymond Catellier, and Superintendent Michael Jennings all also made comments congratulating the FFA students for the work they've done and for coming to the board to present their achievements.

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