Turn the bag blue, a program launched by Mycogen Seeds to celebrate their 75 years of support to the National FFA Organization, has been impacting chapters even at the local level. After connecting with Mycogen Seeds this past year, the Bureau Valley FFA in Illinois has learned a new way to continue to serve the farmers in their community by living out the FFA motto of “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”
“Mycogen sales reps came into six different schools across the country and gave the students sales and agronomy training to go out and sell seed corn of their own,” says Stephanie Gripp, Bureau Valley Chapter President. It worked as a fundraiser. We got part of the profits back for not only our chapter but our state association and the national association.”
Although the partnership has allowed the students to have fun by conducting occasional sales competitions, chapter advisor, William Anderson, believes that also has served as a unique learning experience for the chapter.
“When we were approached with this idea last fall I thought it was just going to be an awesome experience for the students and it’s really has turned out to be just that. I can’t think of another way that they would have had the ability to learn the interpersonal skills, the networking skills, and the communication skills. They’ve been able to learn to start a conversation with a complete stranger, to act in a professional manner, to carry themselves properly in a professional setting, and it has just been tremendous watching them grow and learn through this program. Not to mention, we’ve gained a lot of agronomic knowledge, some sales training, learning how to read the person that your interacting with and how to steer the conversation in the right direction from that,” says Anderon.
The Bureau Valley FFA chapter plans to continue the project with Mycogen Seeds as a way to serve their community, provide their students with progressive leadership opportunities, as well as a way to expand and diversify their own agricultural education program.