Windsor Central High School’s Intro to Ag course is transforming how junior Cassidy Millward is viewing her small farm.
“It’s helped me on my farm by letting me know more and allowing me to be more independent,” said WCHS junior Cassidy Millward. “I’ve gotten a lot stronger on my farm and 4-H shows.”
Millward, who currently has four cows and two ponies, would like to turn her farm into a business, selling eggs and milk as well as breeding to sell calves.
“We’ve started doing a lot of business planning which has helped me budget my feed each week and create a budget for my dad,” said Millward.
Millward took a much larger step into the world of agriculture when she joined other members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) in Albany on February 4th and 5th to participate in the State Leaders Experience.
“State Leaders Experience (SLE) is the capstone leadership experience for New York FFA Members. It provided experiences that helped FFA members learn how to apply leadership skills to real-life situations. This two-day intensive conference focused on members engaging directly with their local lawmakers to learn about the legislative process, issues facing our industry, developing a message and sharing their stories,” said WCHS Ag teacher Alexis Halstead, Millward’s FFA advisor.
Millward was the only representative of Broome County. During this experience, Cassidy built her leadership skills and developed her story in Agricultural Education and FFA. She shared that story with local lawmakers Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, Senator Fred Akshar, Assemblyman Brian Miller, and Assembly Ag Committee Chair Donna Lupardo. Millward and FFA members also spoke to legislators from urban areas.
“It was important for the students to share their stories in Agricultural Education and FFA to help lawmakers understand the importance of Agriculture to New York State,” said Halstead. “Even though Cassidy is a first-year member of FFA, she’s demonstrated a lot of leadership. I thought she’d benefit from going up and feeling like she’s making an impact. It was also a good networking opportunity,” said Halstead.