By Lindsey Palmer
(Hamilton, NY – March 2014) On Feb. 10 and 11, two members from the Hamilton FFA, Greg and Lindsey Palmer, attended the FFA Government Awareness Days in Albany. The members traveled with other local FFA chapters to meet 100 FFA members and advisors from across New York state in the capitol.
On Monday, Feb. 10, members attended five sessions hosted by the NYS Farm Bureau, which taught the students about variety of agriculture issues such as GMO labeling, farm labor, animal welfare and agriculture teacher shortages.
They were also taught how to effectively voice their opinions and help teach legislatures and assemblymen about these issues. While attending these informational sessions, the students observed and took notes of a live panel discussion about GMO labeling, which was hosted by the New York Farm Bureau.
The Hamilton FFA members, along with other FFA members in District Five (including Stockbridge Valley, Madison and DeRuyter) met Senator David J. Valesky (D – Oneida), Assemblyman Bill Magee (D – Nelson) and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi about these issues.
The members also talked about FFA as a whole and shared some of their own personal experiences of how FFA has impacted their lives. The students also had the experience of attending a Senate session and were introduced by Assemblyman Bill Magee on the House of Representatives floor.
Altogether, the students had a great time interacting with other FFA members from across the state and enjoyed talking with the congressmen about specific agriculture issues, as well as the effects FFA has in their lives.
Lindsey Palmer is Hamilton FFA reporter.