When Vance Christie organized the first Weatherford College Agriculture Leadership Development Event in 2016 he knew the potential for the contest to grow, but didn’t expect it to happen so fast.
Last week, WC hosted its third annual LDE and welcomed students from approximately 40 schools from across the state of Texas, from Rotan to Burkburnett to Whitehouse to Little River Academy, totaling more than 450 students and teachers. That’s three times the amount from the first year.
“Without the help of our generous faculty, staff and student volunteers, we would only be able to host about half the number that we were able to accommodate this year,” Christie said.
The event encourages an influx of ag students and their advisors to come see the WC campus first-hand, to interact with faculty and students and to see how dedicated WC is to the future of agriculture.
“Any opportunity that we have to expose what we are doing at Weatherford College to potential students, it increases our enrollment,” Christie said. “What we are starting to see from hosting this particular contest, is that we are not only increasing the number of agricultural transfer students in our program, the academic and leadership skills of the students that participate in Leadership Development Events become our top students in our program once they get on campus.”
The LDE contest includes and an FFA Quiz, FFA Creed Speaking, Agricultural Skills, Radio Broadcasting, Chapter Conducting, Agricultural Issues Speaking Contest, Public Relations, Agricultural Advocacy and Job Interview contests.
At this point, Christie is focused on maintaining the quality of the contest more than significantly adding to the capacity.
“We do not want to sacrifice the quality of the contest, judging or feedback that benefits these students,” he said.