CHEYENNE COUNTY, NE — For the first time in decades — and possibly ever — Future Farmers of America has a presence at the Cheyenne County Fair.
"It means a lot actually," Leyton FFA Vice President Erin Daniels said. "It gives the FFA chapter a new start and gets FFA out there for the kids and the community."
Daniels is competing alongside of Sidney’s chapter. Sidney just finished its first year as a chapter while Leyton is in its sixth.
It’s an exciting prospect for many.
"We are a small town and yes we haven't had an FFA chapter in a long time, but I think this will bring more entertainment as well as new people," Sidney FFA Secretary Emily Miller said. "It could encourage kids to broaden their horizons and what they can study."
Miller is showing a pig, steer, lamb and goat in 2021. She’s competing in both 4-H and FFA divisions. Miller hopes to see FFA’s numbers grow as the years go on.
"I'm really excited just to get them out and help encourage others in the near future to show more in FFA as well as even in 4-H."
In Daniels case, she competes in 4-H in Morrill County. Through FFA she has another chance to master her craft.
"To have the experience to be able to go out and be around new surroundings, new people, it means a lot to bring my animal here," Daniels said."
Wednesday evening, Miller and Daniels made history, becoming the first two to compete in an official FFA show in Cheyenne County in decades. FFA members did compete in the horse show Tuesday, but there is no FFA division so they competed in the 4-H show.
According to Sidney FFA advisor Chaney Peterson, Sidney hasn’t had an FFA chapter since the 1950s. It is unknown how much of a presence they had at the fair then. Leyton is also in their first year competing.
"It's an honor to be here," Daniels said. "It's an honor for the FFA kids to be here to support our school and our dreams to go out and do something amazing."
In the future, don’t be surprised if you see more FFA blue among the white shirts of 4-H competitors in Cheyenne County.