South Dakota FFA members give back to the community during state convention

FFA students from around the state attended South Dakota's state FFA convention in Brookings, where they also had the opportunity to volunteer.

Jasmine Junker pours pasta into a meal package at the South Dakota State FFA Convention.
Ariana Schumacher / Agweek

BROOKINGS, S.D. — Over 2,500 South Dakota FFA members gathered together for the 95th South Dakota State FFA convention on April 16-17.

Students competed in contests, listened to speakers, attended the career fair and participated in community service events, all while meeting other members from across the state.

“Seeing everybody in the blue jacket is a great experience, you know, it has a lot of meaning behind it and just knowing everybody is here for the right reasons,” said Madison Lauck, McCook Central FFA member.

During convention, students had the chance to give back to the community by packing meals for Meals of Hope, which will be donated to Feeding South Dakota and distributed to families in need within the state.

“We are just all taking turns working together, having one person putting cheese in the bag and another is filling it with your minerals and your noodles and the other one is weighing it and then sealing it. Then we are packaging them up and putting them in boxes,” said Jasmine Junker, Dell Rapids FFA member.


The FFA members worked together to reach their goal of packing 50,000 meals during convention.

“It’s pretty great, it’s kind of fun getting to know other people and knowing that you can work together as a whole group,” Junker said.

Multiple FFA members package meals for Meals of Hope during the 2023 state convention.
Ariana Schumacher / Agweek

“It’s a good thing to do just to get to have fun, talk to others and do something good to help,” said Gage Hines, Woonsocket-Sanborn Central FFA member.

The skills that students build during their time in FFA can be carried on with them throughout the rest of their lives.

“I think all the skills I’ve learned will be very helpful, especially the communicational skills will be very important in future jobs and also the organization and leadership skills,” Lauck said.

Emily Robbins and Amara Roland attend the career fair during the South Dakota State FFA Convention.
Ariana Schumacher / Agweek

Members Emily Robbins and Amara Roland are hoping to continue their FFA experiences by becoming state officers this year.

“It would be important to me because I would be able to give back to all the members and be able to provide a lot of opportunities that I have received and spread the word about them to all sorts of people,” said Robbins, Elkton FFA member.

“Being a state officer would mean giving back to community that has given so much to me,” said Roland, Rapid City FFA Member.


State convention helps students come together to celebrate all that FFA has accomplished this year and look ahead to the future of the organization.

“There’s a very big social aspect to it, you get to meet a lot of new people and make a lot of connections,” Robins said.

Right now, South Dakota FFA consists of 5,500 members in 109 FFA chapters across the state.

South Dakota FFA members gathered at the state convention in Brookings, South Dakota on April 16-17.
Ariana Schumacher / Agweek

Ariana is a reporter for Agweek based out of South Dakota. She graduated from South Dakota State University in 2022 with a double major in Agricultural Communications and Journalism, with a minor in Animal Science. She is currently a graduate student at SDSU, working towards her Masters of Mass Communications degree. She enjoys reporting on all things agriculture and sharing the stories that matter to both the producers and the consumers.

What To Read Next
Get Local