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  CANEY CREEK MEMBER COORDINATES LEADERSHIP CONFERENCES
 
By: Ashlee Myers, Texas FFA News Staff
November 15, 2015

 
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Caney Creek FFA member, Bailie McManners fashioned a unique supervised agricultural experience by helping FFA members develop valuable leadership skills. The high school junior acted as the coordinator for the 2015 212° and 360° Leadership Conferences held in Bryan, Texas the third weekend of October.



“I believe that leadership development is very important for FFA members,” said McManners. “Attending my first [212/360 Leadership Conference] made me realize that the events have a lot to offer active members.”

The 212° and 360° Leadership Conferences strive to help FFA members hone their leadership and character development skills. The 212° conference, intended for high school underclassmen, focuses on virtues, growth and collaboration in an interactive way. The 360° conference, intended for high school upperclassmen, allow students to develop applicable leadership skills with focuses on action and influence.

“I began preparing for this conference in April [2015],” said McManners. “I have invested approximately 115 hours, most of which have taken place the month prior to the conference.” 

For the past several years the conferences have not been offered in Texas. However, this year McManners provided 160 Texas FFA members the opportunity to grow as leaders at home in the Lone Star state. 

In addition, McManners initiated a service project in conjunction with the conference. “Our Blue Backs Your Blue” is a simple way to express appreciation towards law enforcement. 

Attendees were asked to bring baked goods to the conference; then each student returned home to their communities with two boxes of treats for their local police officers. Each box included hand signed notes thanking the service men and women for their devotion.



“I believe that little gestures go a long way, and the ‘Our Blue Backs Your Blue’ service activity did just that,” said McManners. “[The project] was a small gesture to show appreciation toward the police officers that keep our communities safe.”

McManners’ SAE project may be unconventional, but her project left an impact. As a result of countless hours of preparation, numerous Texas FFA members have gained lifelong leadership skills, and given back to their local community.
 
 
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