Local FFA Chapter Low on Funds

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- It's a rite of passage for most kids in the Valley, the Future Farmers of America.

Now, many students may miss out on opportunities due to a lack of money.

Over the past couple of years, you may have noticed more and more students wearing these blue jackets showing that they're in FFA. One chapter in Augusta County has actually doubled over the past couple of years.

Mandi Rickman is one of those students at Wilson Middle School.

"I'm hoping to become not so shy and just to be able to talk to more people," said Mandi.

But that opportunity for personal growth isn't cheap. Her teacher, Laura Kennedy, said this chapter, like many others across the country, depends on community support.

"There are kids who live in apartments who are coming here and are working with animals in the classroom, they're going on trips, they're meeting people throughout Virginia," said Kennedy.

The cost could be a much as $200 a student for one of those trips. If the money isn't there, the kids miss out.

"The way things are now, if you don't pay attention to what's going on, they're going to stray in the wrong direction. You just need to be there for them," said Steve Rickman, Mandi's father.

That's exactly what he's doing doing for his daughter and other kids in this chapter. Mandi wants to help as well.

"I would feel really bad, and I would try to get another fundraiser going, so they could actually experience one of the field trips if they haven't gone on one before, and I would try to help them out," said Mandi.

Charity that they're counting on to keep this chapter going.

The fundraiser for the Wilson Middle School chapter goes from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Shenandoah Valley Harley-Davidson with a bake sale and cookout.

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