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Published February 22, 2010, 01:56 PM

Trio of WHS FFA members log hours at Jaycox Powersports

WORTHINGTON — One of the first things new members of the FFA learn is its motto — Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.

By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — One of the first things new members of the FFA learn is its motto — Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.

Those words are essentially words to live by for members of the FFA. They learn the value of hard work, the joy of accomplishment and the reward that comes with making a positive impact on their lives as well as others.

The FFA’s primary goals are to teach leadership skills, job skills and community service. All members are required to complete a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project while in the FFA, and many hone their skills in one specific area for their entire FFA career.

Three members of the Worthington FFA Chapter — two seniors and one freshman — are honing their skills at Jaycox Powersports, a division of Jaycox Implement, in Worthington. As a major supporter of the FFA Chapter, Jaycox is teaching youths the importance of hard work and dedication, as well as business skills they will take with them as they embark on college and eventually their own careers.

Allison Jaycox has grown up in the family business, getting her first job alongside her parents back in 2004.

“I was really young back then,” she said. “My job started to get more detailed as I got older.”

Since Jaycox and fellow FFA member Maggie Fornoff were high school freshmen, they’ve kept track of their hours worked and their jobs performed at Jaycox Powersports, each earning well more than the $2,000 they needed to qualify for consideration in the State FFA Degree program. Their work at the local business qualifies in the agricultural sales placement proficiency.

The two completed their state degree interviews earlier this week, and hope to hear soon if they will be among those in the chapter to earn the state’s highest honor in the FFA.

Jaycox, who serves as Worthington FFA Chapter treasurer and Region VI FFA sentinel, performs a variety of duties in the powersports business.

“One of the biggest things that I help out with is ... the eBay store,” she said. “We ship out items to people all over the country and sometimes internationally. It’s my job to package the items, make sure we have them in inventory and give feedback to the customer.”

Much of the eBay business is in the Ski-Doo line this time of year, selling clothing, parts and supplies for the popular brand of snowmobiles.

Jaycox Powersports has been selling items on eBay for about three years, and it’s been a boost to the business.

“It’s really an asset because we can sell items that people are interested in, and we get more customers (by offering items on the Internet),” said Jaycox.

Fornoff, who serves as the Worthington FFA Chapter president this year, squeezes in a few hours of work each week during the school year. While she also helps out with the e-Bay listings at Jaycox Powersports, Fornoff plants and maintains a flower garden at the business during the spring and summer, helps organize the showroom, file invoices, answer the phones and help customers.

“I really have a good variety of different tasks,” said Fornoff. “There’s always something new — a new project to work on.”

Now in her fourth year at Jaycox Powersports, she said it’s been a good opportunity for her to be involved in the agricultural community as well as the recreational sports aspect of the business.

“The customers are all really nice and it’s a good opportunity to help other people,” said Fornoff. “It teaches you skills you’ll use later on in life, such as organization, customer relations and responsibility.”

Carolyn Lovan is just starting to learn some of those skills as a freshman FFA member and a relatively new hire at Jaycox Powersports.

“I just started in late October,” she said. “I work with Kristin (Jaycox), usually with invoices, checking inventory and doing displays.”

Lovan enjoys the work, especially the flexibility she’s allowed by her employer. During the winter sports season, she serves as a statistician for the WHS wrestling team and, as a result, only gets in about two to four hours of work each week.

“Usually I work on Sundays or whenever (Kristin) calls after hours,” she said.

Lovan helps with eBay shipments, provides feedback to eBay customers and helps in the showroom.

“I usually like to work with the helmets,” she said. “I can restock them and see what we need to put out.”

All three of the young women enjoy their work at Jaycox Powersports and appreciate the experience they are getting in the workforce.

“The skills that I’ve learned in both FFA and my SAE have kind of worked together,” said Jaycox. “I’ve learned how to work with customers, and that pays off when I meet new people. It helps me be organized and gets me ready for everyday life.”

As for Fornoff, she has learned that the FFA is about so much more than growing crops and raising livestock.

“I learned that the FFA is not solely an agricultural club, it is also based on leadership and service, as well as agricultural aspects,” she said. “I’ve learned ... leadership skills that I can use for the rest of my life. If it wasn’t for the FFA, I would have never been interested in public speaking.

“Through the FFA, I’ve gained experience in that, and it’s helped me a lot in speech and also in school.”