FFA to host pancake breakfast to give back to university

Maia Zewert

Iowa State’s collegiate Future Farmers of America chapter will host a pancake breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Kildee Livestock Pavilion.

The breakfast is in celebration of National FFA Week.

“It’s really an opportunity for us to give back to the university and show our appreciation to the faculty and students by giving them a free breakfast,” said Jared Epley, junior in agricultural business and chapter president.

Epley said the breakfast would not be possible were it not for generous donations from industry sponsors. Iowa Pork Producers, Swiss Valley and IHOP donated the sausage, milk and pancake batter.

“It helped us keep our cost down and we very much appreciate it,” Epley said.

FFA’s mission statement promises “to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premiere leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”

For some of the members in the ISU chapter, this foundation began during their high school years.

Laura Bro, senior in animal science, decided to join the collegiate FFA after her experience in high school.

“I was always involved with my high school’s FFA chapter and I was an officer for two years,” Bro said. “When I found out Iowa State had a chapter, I decided to join.”

Benjamin Zelle, senior in agricultural business and reporter for the Iowa State FFA, developed a love for FFA thanks to his father, an agriculture education instructor. Last year, Zelle served as the Northeast District Vice President. He also ran as the Iowa officer candidate at the national level.

“Serving as a state officer and running for national office, I’ve gotten to meet people from across the nation and Puerto Rico,” Zelle said. “It’s really neat to have those connections with those individuals.”

In April, the high school FFA state leadership conference, known to FFA members as “state convention,” will be returning to Iowa State after being hosted in Des Moines for the past few years.

“We’re really excited to have it back in Ames,” Zelle said.

High school students will have a chance to attend college and career fairs, attend motivational speeches and also go to social events.

Iowa State’s Collegiate FFA will help out by judging different events. Members of the club enjoy the chance to help out the younger set.

“When I was in high school, I really appreciated the people who put in their time to help out,” Epley said. “We were there once, so it’s nice to give back.”

The Collegiate FFA chapter is always looking for more volunteers. If students were not in FFA in high school, they are still welcome.

“If you had a high school that didn’t have FFA, there’s no stopping you from getting involved at the college level,” Epley said.

Bro said FFA is a great way to give back.

“People recognize FFA as a service organization and it provides a lot of leadership opportunities and ways to help other people,” Bro said.