Just last week in Tomales Bay, the California State FFA Officer Team put on the annual Regional Officer Leadership Conference, to prepare regional leaders for their upcoming year of service. This year, three of our chapter members were elected to serve on the South Coast Regional Officer Team: Luke O’Leary as President, Amber Bjerre as Secretary, and Kalena Cirone as SLO Section Vice President.  Each of them were ecstatic to attend and inspired by the 2015-2016 state officers theme for the year, Illuminate. The purpose of ROLC is to give all six regional officer teams the opportunity to attend and participate in workshops, complete team building activities, and bond with other FFA leaders from around the state.

Regional Officers (left to right) Kalena Cirone, Luke O’Leary, and Amber Bjerre reunited with recent graduate Joelle Lewis (front) at the retreat and visited Tomales Bay’s natural history museum after taking a scenic hike.
Regional Officers (left to right) Kalena Cirone, Luke O’Leary, and Amber Bjerre reunited with recent graduate Joelle Lewis (front) at the retreat and visited Tomales Bay’s natural history museum after taking a scenic hike.

Through the duration of their stay, members worked diligently under the guidance of the State Officer Team along with professors and advisors. “Outside of daily workshops each regional team created a video, addressing a certain issue facing agriculture,” said Joelle Lewis, President of California FFA and 2015 graduate of San Luis Obispo FFA.  The South Coast Regional Team addressed the issue regarding hunger and feeding the growing global population, and the video they created can be viewed here.  Although this topic brought forth a good discussion, its primary purpose was to demonstrate the simplicity of video making and using social media as a positive tool in only our organization, and the agriculture industry as a whole.  Luke O’Leary says that, “With social media, information is readily at our fingertips. It’s up to us to make sure that information reflects the truth about the agriculture industry.”  The experiences at ROLC allowed the regional leaders from our chapter to learn vital skills that will help expand our chapter’s current social media.

The South Coast Regional officer team comprises of eleven members from chapters that range from San Jose to Northern Los Angeles.
The South Coast Regional officer team comprises of eleven members from chapters that range from San Jose to Northern Los Angeles.

Along with working hard in workshops and listening to speakers, Luke, Amber and Kalena got a plethora of opportunities to create important bonds with other members from places as far as Eureka up north, to Imperial down south.  This included hiking in the forest surrounding Tomales Bay, visiting natural history museums, team-bonding time, and exclusive time to get to know each state officer.  “Being around individuals from all over California who have the same drive, passion, and commitment to the FFA organization and the agriculture industry reinvigorated the already strong passion I have had since the first day I set foot in the San Luis Obispo Ag Department,” said Amber Bjerre.  Although the retreat lasted only four short days, the members accomplished an incredible amount and became stronger leaders during their time in Tomales Bay.  We are excited to see what they accomplish this next year as leaders of our region and chapter.

Thanks for reading, and check out our fourth blog post next Monday!

-Kalena Cirone